Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull record is passé. Max Verstappen now has the most wins and the third world title firmly in his sights. The Monaco weekend left a heavy impression.
Max Verstappen accepted the congratulations in the royal box almost shyly. At the party in Monaco’s jam-packed marina, the dominator of Formula 1 must have let loose a little more.
After a weekend in which the 25-year-old surpassed Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull victory record, one question arises first and foremost: How long and how far can his era last?
“Verstappen gives a clear signal to (teammate Sergio) Pérez, (Fernando) Alonso and the rest: Red Bull and Max dominate every race,” wrote the “Algemeen Dagblad” from Verstappen’s native Netherlands. “And in the end, Max Verstappen wins,” headlined “Monaco Matin” from Verstappen’s adopted home on the Côte d’Azur.
“Even with a great result, you have to queue up behind them in every race,” said Alonso. The 41-year-old world champion from 2005 and 2006, who won the Monaco race in 2006 and 2007, had to admit defeat to Verstappen in qualifying and in the race as second. His only hope for the upcoming tasks: Verstappen is also out of action.
Even on the slippery asphalt, Verstappen maneuvered his RB19, which had actually been predicted to have a weakness for such narrow courses, to victory. The fact that he played a bit of a gang matched his splendid weekend performance at the classic in the Principality. After the heart-pounding finale in a thrilling qualifier where he was 84 thousandths of a second quicker than Alonso, he finished 27.921 seconds ahead of the veteran in a race that only became entertaining when the rain set in. “Max was always in control of the situation in all conditions – dry, semi-dry, extremely water – and controlled the speed with confidence. An incredible performance,” praised Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko on Sky.
39 Grand Prix victories: Verstappen overtakes Vettel
With the 39th victory for Red Bull, Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s 38 Grand Prix successes for the Austrian team. There is no question that he will break the next significant career milestone this year: Brazilian Formula 1 icon Ayrton Senna won 41 races. As early as next Sunday on the course near Barcelona, which should suit the Red Bull perfectly, the two-time world champion Verstappen can come within a win of the three-time world champion. The fact that the Dutchman is now leading the standings ahead of his Mexican rival Pérez with 39 points is one of the nice numbers games.
“If you have a good car for a while, you can break these records,” said Verstappen: “It’s great. I never thought I’d be in such a position in my career.” He has been competing in Formula 1 since 2015, and he also broke the 2,000-lap mark in Monaco.
His 170th Grand Prix participation is now pending in Spain. There, by the way, where he won the premier class of motorsport for the first time in 2016. The long time impetuous and wild Verstappen became a much more controlled pilot at the latest with the title premiere in 2021. “It seems that Max Verstappen can hardly distract from his almost unstoppable march to the third Formula 1 title,” wrote the British “Guardian”. Verstappen used to fight against his competitors, today he dominates them.
In all the seasons he remembers in the 2000s and 2010s, he would have led the World Cup with performances like this year, Alonso said. “But now there is Red Bull. And Max dominates every race.” Four wins and two second places in the first six races of the season prove Verstappen’s top form.
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