Max Verstappen showcased his remarkable prowess during a season marked by record-breaking achievements. Notably, after securing his 19th win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen took a moment to acknowledge the retiring team boss, Franz Tost, who had led Red Bull’s junior team for 18 years.
In his in-lap following the victory, Verstappen expressed gratitude, saying, “Thank you to everyone, and thank you to Franz Tost. He has had lots of us under his wings, and it is his last race – so thank you to Franz.”
Verstappen’s journey from his early days as ‘Mad Max,’ characterized by impetuous aggression, to his determined emergence as a serial champion after the contentious 2021 triumph at the Yas Marina Circuit, reflects an unstoppable progression.
On this Sunday in Abu Dhabi, he achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first driver to lead more than 1,000 laps in a single season—specifically, 1,003 out of the 1,325 available laps. This accomplishment translated to a remarkable percentage rate of 75.70%. This feat surpassed the 60-year-old record set by two-time champion Jim Clark, who led 506 of 708 laps at a rate of 71.47% in 1963. Verstappen’s dominance on the track solidified his status as a record-breaking winning machine.