Verstappen has entire F1 grid wrapped around his little finger after Austrian GP show

The reigning F1 world champion has won each of the last five races to extend his points lead to 81


We’ve seen dominant seasons in Formula 1 before but perhaps nothing like we are seeing right now with Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman’s latest victory at the Austrian Grand Prix was the latest proof that he can do whatever he wants behind the wheel and the rest of the grid are powerless to stop him, including his own teammate Sergio Perez.

Qualifying may have been close but it was always going to be on such a short track, it’s in the race where his true greatness shines. Verstappen’s pit stop with just a couple of laps to go showed how he was just playing with Charles Leclerc in second for his own amusement while collecting an extra point for the fastest lap.

Sure, the Red Bull car is head and shoulders above the rest at this moment in time but even when there has been a truly dominant car on the grid, the two drivers have at least fought each other for glory.

Verstappen just isn’t going to let that happen this season despite toying with Perez early on to give him some false hope that he could challenge all season. From the moment the Mexican declared himself a title contender after the Azerbaijan GP, Verstappen has been levels above everybody on the grid.

Unbeatable Verstappen

The chances of Verstappen going all the way through the rest of the season without being beaten again are slim at best with reliability or incidents almost certain to play their part and yet even that might not stop him in this form.

We saw this consistent brilliance in his first championship where he overcame incidents in the UK, Hungary and Italy to beat Lewis Hamilton and de-rail the all-conquering Mercedes dynasty he had created for himself.

Nobody except him could have managed that in 2021 and e was rewarded with a stellar car in 2022 that eventually saw off the circus of Ferrari despite a tricky start.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix sprint race alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who finished second REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/Pool

Ever since Verstappen took his first of many titles, he has had the entirety of F1 wrapped around his little finger and he can simply toy with them anytime he wants. The only reason he has not managed to do the late pit stop that often this season has been because he has taken things easy to not stress the car.

If he went as fast as he could on every lap, his dominance would be like nothing we have ever seen before. Remember these days because we are witnessing greatness, even if we can’t realise it yet.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

With the F1 circus finished in Austria, we move on to the 2023 British Grand Prix which will be held at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, England over the weekend of July 7-9.

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for and a top class F1 writer.
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