Max Verstappen’s bold claim after ‘surpassing’ Sebastian Vettel era – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen and Red Bull celebrate his third World Championship.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull celebrate after he secures his World Championship.

Max Verstappen crowned himself a three-time World Champion on an action-packed Saturday at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez crashing out of the sprint ensured that Verstappen made it three World titles on the trot, this latest triumph going to the very top and to a level which Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels goes beyond even the Sebastian Vettel glory days.

All this and more, so let us dive into the action…

Max Verstappen ranks third title top of the pile

Formula 1 is truly in the era of Verstappen, the Dutchman securing his third title in as many seasons with a P3 finish in the Qatar sprint.

So, with this latest crown to add to his 2021 and 2022 titles, Verstappen naturally was asked where this one sits in the pecking order. As it turns out, the answer is very high indeed!

“This one is the best one,” Verstappen said in the post-sprint press conference.

Read more: Max Verstappen makes bold claim about latest title after sealing third crown

Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel Red Bull era

Verstappen’s charge through Formula 1 has put him just one title away from matching Vettel’s run of four successive titles between 2010-13 in Red Bull colours.

F1 2023 has seen Verstappen topple Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row, Verstappen having reeled off 10, and team boss Horner believes Verstappen’s all-conquering showing is beyond even what Vettel was able to achieve.

“I think that this season has just surpassed anything we’ve ever seen,” Horner told Sky F1. “We did a lot of winning with Sebastian, but this has taken it to yet another level – and he’s only 26.”

Read more – Red Bull: Max Verstappen’s F1 2023 title glory ‘surpasses’ Sebastian Vettel success

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Sergio Perez reveals key to F1 2024 title challenge

The signs were promising for Perez after two wins from the opening four grands prix of F1 2023, but the victories dried up from there with Perez having fallen alarmingly off the pace.

And with his title chances now officially done, ending in the gravel after being caught up in a Qatar sprint collision also involving Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg, Perez cast an eye towards how he can get back on track in F1 2024.

And Perez says the crucial aspect to that will be ensuring that Red Bull do not develop the RB20 away from his liking, as has been the case with the RB19.

“As we start to develop the car, I felt like the car went away from me and I had to start chasing always the balance, having to make some compromises here and there,” he told Sky F1.

“But anyway, those details are internally with the team and it’s something that we are all aware of and hopefully next year like I say it can be a different story.”

Read more: Sergio Perez reveals Red Bull talks for ‘different story’ in F1 2024

Lando Norris admits Oscar Piastri win “hurts”

While Verstappen was understandably the talk of the paddock after securing World title number three, it was not the dominant Dutchman who won the Qatar sprint, that honour instead going to McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

And that means that in a rookie campaign where Piastri has gone from strength to strength, he has now achieved what team-mate Lando Norris is yet to, that being to win in Formula 1.

Understandably, that stings for Norris.

“I’m very happy for the team, I’m happy for Oscar. He’s beat me to a win so congrats to him,” Norris told Sky F1.

“Of course, it’s never the nicest feeling. It hurts me. It just hurts me that I’ve messed up this morning, I should be on pole and should at least be P1 or P2 yesterday for the race tomorrow.”

Read more: Lando Norris reacts after Oscar Piastri beats him to first F1 win: ‘It hurts me’

Lance Stroll and trainer “cool” after Qatar clash

While Piastri is thriving as a Formula 1 driver, the same is not true right now for Lance Stroll over at Aston Martin, who drew negative attention for an apparent push on his trainer Henry Howe after Q1 elimination on Friday.

Stroll though made it clear that the pair remain on good terms.

“We’re good,” Stroll confirmed. “He’s a bro. We go through the frustration together and we ride together. So, we’re cool.”

Read more: Lance Stroll discusses F1 enjoyment as trainer relations clarified after Qatar clash

Read next: Masterful Max Verstappen confirms his place amongst F1’s very best