Max Verstappen has picked out his victories in Miami, Japan and the Netherlands as his favourites in 2023, having completely dominated the season on his way to a third World title.
Verstappen rose from ninth on the grid to sail past team-mate Sergio Perez and take the chequered flag in Miami, before a sea of orange roared him on at home at Zandvoort and one of the qualifying laps of the season was followed up with a dominant showing at Suzuka.
Reflecting on the year and taking stock, Verstappen highlighted those races as ones to stand above the rest in his many victories of 2023.
Max Verstappen chooses favourite wins of 2023 after record-breaking tally
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Verstappen’s victory in Miami would prove pivotal in the title race, the apparent ease with which he reeled in and passed Perez a sign of what was to come after the Red Bull duo had shared victory in the opening four races at two wins apiece.
This kick-started a record-breaking run of 10 wins in a row for the Red Bull driver, who will start the 2024 season on another unbroken streak of seven consecutive victories.
When asked to narrow down his record-breaking year and pick out three highlights from 2023, Verstappen told media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi: “Well, I think winning the comeback race in Miami I think was great – I think that was an important one.
“Winning at home in Zandvoort was a very nice one, and I think winning in Suzuka after the tough weekend we had in Singapore.”
His 19 wins in 22 races is an all-time Formula 1 record, and his 575-point tally from one season was more than double that of team-mate Sergio Perez, who took second place in the Drivers’ Championship.
It would be easy, then, for Verstappen to have taken his foot off the metaphorical accelerator after wrapping up the title so soon in Qatar, but his dominant streak continued for the rest of the year.
He was asked if there was a challenge to stay motivated while being so far ahead of the chasing pack, but in typical Verstappen style, he believes it’s a given that if he can win, the motivation to go and do it will be there.
“I don’t really think about it too much to be honest, and especially not comparing it to any other sport because it all works a bit differently, I guess. I think in that way, F1 is quite unique,” he explained.
“But I love driving, I think that’s – first and foremost – the most important thing to be here and, of course, winning is of course the best thing in Formula 1 so for me, naturally, the motivation is there, because I know that for most of the races that I go to this year, I have a big chance of winning so naturally, that’s great.
“I think it’s tougher when you have been in that position and then you come to a race weekend where it’s not possible anymore, then it’s hard, I think, or harder, to find your motivation.
“Then you need to try and look into different places, how you can keep that motivation going.
“But at the moment, of course, when you’re on the top, I think it’s probably easier than when you’re maybe in the middle of the pack.”