Max Verstappen captures his third-straight F1 Drivers’ Championship3 min read

It was only a matter of time, however that second got here Saturday.

Max Verstappen is the 2023 Method 1 Drivers’ Champion.

That Verstappen was going to seize his third-straight title appeared a formality over the summer time, as he set a brand new F1 mark with ten-straight wins, eclipsing a file set by the legendary Sebastian Vettel throughout the 2013 marketing campaign. Because the Crimson Bull driver reeled off win after win, he constructed a close to insurmountable lead heading into the Qatar Grand Prix.

Needing simply three factors over the ultimate six race weekends, Verstappen left little doubt on Saturday. He left himself a bit of bit of labor to do after the F1 Dash Shootout, the place he certified third behind the McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, however that beginning spot on the grid put him in place to get the job achieved.

In actual fact, Verstappen technically clinched the title earlier than the F1 Dash race even got here to the checkered flag. Teammate Sergio Pérez, the one driver nonetheless with a technical shot to catch him, was caught up in a three-way crash with Esteban Ocon and Nico Hülkenberg, ending his day.

With Pérez unable to safe factors, that was sufficient for Verstappen to place each palms on the trophy.

Nonetheless, that is Max Verstappen we’re speaking about, and easily racking up laps isn’t his model. When the F1 Dash race resumed after Pérez’s crash, Verstappen was sitting in third place, behind Piastri and George Russell. However Verstappen labored by Russell, who was working on an outdated set of softs that have been giving manner, and slowly inched nearer to Piastri.

In the end, he couldn’t get by Piastri. But the second-place end was greater than sufficient to seize his third-straight title.

With the end, Verstappen not solely claimed his third title, however he turned the primary driver to clinch a Drivers’ Championship in a Dash race. With the enlargement of Dash races to 6 this season — and 6 on the schedule for subsequent season — it’s possible that Verstappen won’t be the final driver to clinch in a Dash race.

Verstappen additionally joined the small record of drivers who clinched their title on a Saturday. Amongst these is former driver Nelson Piquet, who gained two of his three titles on a Saturday. His first title in 1981 got here when he completed fifth within the Caesars Palace Grand Prix, held on a Saturday. Then in 1983 he claimed his second title on the South African Grand Prix, once more held on a Saturday.

Oddly sufficient, Piquet in essence captured his third title, in 1987, on one other non-traditional day. That season Piquet was locked in a title combat together with his Williams teammate and championship rival Nigel Mansell, and with the grid in Japan for the penultimate race of the season, solely these two had an opportunity on the title.

However throughout a apply session on the Friday forward of the Japanese Grand Prix, Mansell suffered a season-ending crash. As Piquet was within the lead within the standings, he assured the title.

Piquet is the daddy of Verstappen’s companion Kelly.

Different drivers who clinched on a Saturday embody Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955, Jack Brabham in 1959, Graham Hill in 1962, and Keke Rosberg in 1982.

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