Max Verstappen breaks another F1 record and plays down level of dominance after winning Brazilian GP

Alberto Ascari's dominance in the F1 1952 title-winning campaign has now been surpassed

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has minimised the scale of his achievements in 2023 after another straightforward win in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen completed a clean sweep of the Americas triple-header at Interlagos with pole position, followed by victory in the Sprint Race, and then the 17th win of his third world championship-winning season.

Victory in Brazil also means, regardless of what happens in the season-ending Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi GPs, Verstappen will have won 77 percent of the F1 2023 season’s races.

Verstappen‘s 2023 campaign is the most dominant in F1 history, surpassing Alberto Ascari‘s 1952 title-winning campaign, where he won 75 percent of the races.

“It’s not about that. It’s not something that when I joined Formula 1, I needed to have a 75 percent win record over a season,” Verstappen explained to the press. 

“These kinds of things that come along when everything just works really well. I feel good in the car. The car is very competitive, and the team rarely makes mistakes as well.

“So you can get a season like we are having. For me, it’s more about just enjoying the moment and trying to maximise every single opportunity.”

Verstappen using his experience

Although he could pull away from McLaren‘s Lando Norris during the race, the Brit kept Verstappen honest and briefly took the lead back on Lap 58 after the Dutchman’s second pitstop.

But victory was never in doubt for Verstappen, retaking the lead from Norris when he made his second stop on Lap 60, with the margin between the pair being eight seconds at the checkered flag.

Verstappen‘s calm drive in Sunday’s race was another in a long line of routine race victories in 2023, which has seen him dominate proceedings without taking unnecessary risks or damaging his tyres.

“I didn’t expect him to have a run into Turn 1. Had to use my battery a bit, and for one lap, I had to defend and maintain that gap,” added Verstappen.

“I don’t mind fighting, but I’ve also done many years in F1 where you win two races a year and the rest of your driving is to P5.

“So I’m just enjoying the moment and embracing it and also enjoying driving, up front with a bit of a gap.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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