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Max Verstappen

How Verstappen plotted with Red Bull to smash F1 milestone

The World Champion recorded another record in Abu Dhabi, becoming the only driver ever in the World Championship to lead 1,000 laps in a season.

Scanes Verstappen 2023
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has detailed how he and Red Bull plotted their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix strategy to ensure he could smash through the 1,000 laps led barrier.

Verstappen needed to lead 49 of the 58 laps at Yas Marina to become the first driver in the history of the World Championship to lead 1,000 laps during a season.

In the event, he led for 52 laps, finishing up with 1,003 laps led from 1,325 in the season, a percentage of 75.70%, also a record in itself.

From pole position, Verstappen was largely untroubled, only relinquishing the lead to Charles Leclerc and Yuki Tsunoda between Laps 17 and 22 on his way to another hat-trick of pole, win and fastest lap.

Post-race, the triple World Champion explained just how he and Red Bull designed their strategy around trying to achieve the milestone.

Verstappen plotting

"I knew it was on the cards going into the race," Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.

"On the engineering side with the strategy, we wanted to try and plan it in a way that I wouldn't pit too early, and wait for the others to pit.

"To try and achieve it was not maybe the fastest strategy, but I wanted to stay in the lead to get the laps in."

After breaking yet another record, Verstappen highlighted the importance of Red Bull's team spirit as it recorded 21 wins from 22 Grands Prix.

"It is not so much the wins or the poles or laps led, it is just the enjoyment we had as a team," he added.

"The wins are great, but it is also very important to have a good atmosphere in the team and have a lot of fun with the people you work with, trying to do the best they can every day and who give it all out there for you."

F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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