Max Verstappen adds another piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen lifting the winner's trophy. Austin, October 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen smiles as he lifts the winner's trophy. Austin, October 2022.

After a stellar season, Max Verstappen has picked up another accolade as he was named NOS’ Sportsman of the Year.

With a record-breaking 15 wins and another World Championship to place in his very large trophy cabinet, the 2022 season was arguably Verstappen’s finest in Formula 1 so far.

He overcame early reliability issues to wrestle back a lead from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and while the title was not officially confirmed until the Japanese Grand Prix, the writing was on the wall for far longer than that.

As he enjoys some well-earned downtime following the hectic season, Verstappen has also been collecting plenty of awards for his achievements including the official trophy for his title win as well as the International Racing Driver of the Year Award at the Autosport Awards.

On Wednesday, he added another accolade to his name when he was named Sportsman of the Year in his native Netherlands.

NOS, who are of the public broadcasters in the Netherlands and show the races, named Verstappen the winner after a title win they described as won with “great force majeure”.

Verstappen was not present to collect the award so his sister Victoria filled in for him, collecting the trophy from former Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst.

It is the third-time Verstappen has won the award having also done so in 2021 and 2016. Only Judoka Anton Geesink, former skater Ard Schenk and ex-turner Epke Zonderland have been awarded the prize more.

Following the award, a short video was shown of former F1 World Champions and some of the current crop congratulating Verstappen on his win.

“Just want to congratulate you on your tremendous success over these last few years,” Sir Jackie Stewart said while Damon Hill joked that even though Verstappen believes he is a Lewis Hamilton fan, the 1996 World Champion said the Dutchman had “driven beautifully this year”.

Another former World Champion in Emerson Fittipaldi congratulated Verstappen and said to win a second time was much sweeter, a subject he knows a lot about having been successful in 1971 and 1974.

Ex-Red Bull man Mark Webber said he had not seen an entry into Formula 1 like Verstappen’s “for a long time” and praised him for the last couple of years which he described as “phenomenal”.

Nico Hülkenberg also demonstrated an impressive knowledge of Dutch to congratulate Verstappen.

Verstappen’s trophy came alongside the awarding of Sportswoman of the Year which went to Dutch speed skater Irene Schouten who won three golds and one bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

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