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Christian Horner

Horner names key Verstappen wins that sealed title

Max Verstappen has taken 14 wins in the 2023 Formula 1 season, but Christian Horner has singled out two that he thinks stand out above the rest.

Verstappen Japan
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Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has named the key wins during the 2023 Formula 1 season, which sealed the title for Max Verstappen.

After passing team-mate Sergio Perez for the lead on Lap 48 in Miami, Verstappen went on a 10-race winning streak, smashing the previous record of nine held by Sebastian Vettel before a fifth-place on an off weekend in Singapore ended the run.

Verstappen has since bounced back to win the two following races in Japan and Qatar - where he sealed his third title in the Sprint - to have 14 wins from 17 races heading into the final stretch of five events to round out the season.

Verstappen can break his own record of 15 wins in a single season if he wins two more races - and if he wins all five will move to 54 career wins, eclipsing Vettel's 53 and Alain Prost's 51 to move into third on the all-time list.

Although it has been one of the most dominant driver campaigns in F1's history, Red Bull boss Horner was able to single out two races in particular that stood out.

Horner: Max arrived as a very rough diamond

"There's been some tricky races that he's won [throughout the season]," Horner told media including RacingNews365.

"That race in Suzuka was outstanding, it was totally dominant.

"Then difficult conditions in Zandvoort and so many difficult races that he's managed to navigate his way through - there's been some big wins this year.

Verstappen's arrival into F1 as a 17-year-old in 2015 was seen as early to some, as he was barely out of karting and had only completed two years of racing in single-seaters.

His raw talent is what caught the eye of Red Bull bosses, but it took six seasons before he could put together a credible title challenge given the advantage enjoyed by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton and lack of a comparatively strong power unit available to Red Bull

"Max has always had the speed from the very moment he sat in the car and he now couples that with experience," added Horner.

"He arrived in F1 as quite a rough diamond, but he's now a very polished diamond. He's maintained all those raw attributes that he had, but now brings experience."

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