Horner reveals surprising Verstappen trait from 2023 F1 season

Max Verstappen won the 2023 drivers' championship with over twice as many points as Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez

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Christian Horner has admitted he’s been taken aback by Max Verstappen‘s consistency over the 2023 Formula 1 season, with the Dutchman finishing every single race in the top five and only coming lower than second once.

Horner pointed out that Verstappen only damaged his car once of his own accord, as the Dutchman is finally losing the hotheaded moniker that’s dogged him since his F1 debut.

Verstappen rewrote nearly every page of the record books in 2023, with the most wins and highest win percentage in a season as he won the drivers’ title with over twice as many points as runner-up Sergio Perez and could’ve won the constructors’ championship solo.

“He just continues to hit new levels,” Horner told the media when asked what had surprised him about Verstappen in 2023. “I think the only damage that he did this year was driving out the garage at Silverstone and clipping the front wing, it’s just phenomenal the heights that he’s these hit with the consistency.

“Even with adversity coming from the back of the grid in some of the races after issues in qualifying there’s been some stunning performances this year. He just continues to raise the bar.

“And it’s just great to see how he works with his engineering team, of course Max is leading from the front from behind the wheel.”

Verstappen: I tried to enjoy it

Max Verstappen looks on from the pitwall as Jake Dennis takes over in free practice ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen has cultivated a ruthless and focussed persona that stands in stark contrast to the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, often giving the impression he’s never truly happy with whatever’s going on around him.

However, the Dutchman insists he has enjoyed the 2023 season and said the success he’s celebrated has been better because he’s achieved it with Red Bull.

“This season for sure we won a lot, but also it’s just been really enjoyable to work with everyone inside the team,” Verstappen added. “Once you’re winning a few in a row, you want to keep that momentum going and the pressure is always on, you always want to do well.

“But I was never thinking about trying to break all these kinds of records, just trying to do the best I could every single race weekend and enjoy it at the same time as well.

“Because you know that these kind of great moments don’t come along that often that well, so it was a very, very good year.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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