Max Verstappen claimed his 12th pole position of the 2023 Formula One season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday and on Sunday in the 58-lap race his dominance came to the fore again as he took his 19th race win of the year and speaking following the race, Verstappen who made history by scoring the most points in a championship season at 575 points.
Verstappen also made history by claiming the largest winning margin over P2 in the championship with 290 points between the Dutch driver and his teammate Sergio Perez.
Speaking following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, three-time Formula One world champion Max Verstappen said:
It’s been an unforgettable season. It was emotional on the in-lap driving the RB19 for the last time, this car and Team has given me so much. I have to say a big thank you to everyone at Red Bull, we’ve had an incredible year. It will be hard to replicate a year like this but we always want to do better and to improve so let’s see what we can do next year. In the meantime, I think the whole Team and everyone in the paddock needs a rest and to spend some time with friends and family. It’s been a simply lovely year.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez finished the race on Sunday in fourth place and by doing so consolidated second place in the championship and in doing so made history for Oracle Red Bull Racing who, for the first time in their history scored a 1-2 finish in the drivers championship.
Overall, we had a good race today. I think I could have maybe stretched it to a one stop, it’s something to look at and review. It probably would have been possible, but we will never know! My honest opinion is it was just a racing incident with Lando but unfortunately, the stewards didn’t agree with that and I got the penalty and lost second place in the final race of the season. I have learnt this season to never give up, we have had some tough times, ups and downs but it only matters where you finish when the season ends here. I am happy with the whole Team, they have done a tremendous job and we deserved a lot more today and at times this season. We have had the best season in our history and so much credit to Max, he has been outstanding. Next year we have another chance and we go for it.
Oracle Red Bull Racing scored a record number of points in the Constructors championship, ending the year with 860 points, ending the season, 451 points ahead of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team while the team also scored a record number of race wins in a season with 21 of 22 race victories.
Speaking following the remarkable season for the Milton Keynes-based outfit, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner said:
Well that brings the curtain down on a year that can only be described as incredible. This car is going to go down in the history books as a very, very special car. To have won 21 races out of the 22 is an achievement we never thought possible. What a year, not just for those you see week in and week out at track, but more than anything, all the people behind the scenes back in the factory across the whole business. All the support staff made this happen and played their role in making, delivering, and operating this car. I think everybody can take a huge amount of pride in what they’ve achieved, because this Team really does have an incredible winning spirit and their determination through it all is incredibly strong.
“Adding to this, Max and Checo. An extraordinary Team in themselves. Their hard work and commitment delivered our first ever P1 and P2 finish. Throughout the season Max has been as close to faultless as you can get, every week bettering his last performance, turning in his best year yet. Checo by comparison has equally had his best year and his best finish in the Championship. It was not an easy road for him but he turned it up when he needed to and secured second place.
“Finally, I would like to thank our partners and fans, who equally played their part in this historic season. Their commitment to the Team has been steadfast throughout the season and we are incredibly grateful for their support. We are going to hopefully take all of these lessons out of this car and apply it into our 20th car. It will be another special year for us in our 20th year as we continue to build to try and defend these two titles. Preparation has already began, we will enjoy the break while we have it but look forward to seeing what’s to come in the 2024 season.”