Max Verstappen secured his place in the record books as he continued his remarkable season with a record-breaking 14th victory of the campaign at the 2022 Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Dutch driver had already secured a second world title and helped Oracle Red Bull Racing win the constructors’ crown before storming to victory in Mexico and eclipsing the record of 13 wins in a season – which was jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen said: “It’s been an incredible year so far, we are definitely enjoying it, and we’ll try to go for more (victories).”
Having started on the pole, Verstappen was rarely troubled as he cruised to victory, finishing well clear of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, while team-mate Sergio Pérez delighted the home fans as he secured a place on the podium.
The Mexican driver finished well ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell and has now moved up into second place in the driver standings, five points clear of Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc.
The race’s first stint was critical today, and we managed to stay in the lead after turn one. We were obviously on a different strategy to the cars around us, and we had to look after our tyres carefully. We had quite a good pace on the soft tyre, even though it wears a bit more. We then drove the medium to the end. Winning 14 races in a season is incredible. We’re having an amazing year as a team, and that’s the most important thing. We keep pushing and want to win as many races as possible. It’s exceptional what we are all achieving together this year.
It feels good to be on the podium, but I wanted more today. I am a little bit disappointed. We could have finished second definitely, but we had a poor pitstop, which really prevented us from doing the undercut and being closer to Lewis. The hard tyre didn’t work for him initially, but once he got them going, it just didn’t work for me. Then I was looking after my tyres, and there were no more in them. We were planning to do a two-stop race, but the degradation was better than expected. This place is unbelievable, it is an amazing crowd here, and I will never forget these moments because of the people. It is certainly, if not the best, one of the best crowds in Formula One – I am very privileged to have this support. I just want to go and win the next two races now. We have had the pace in the last few races, so now I just want to put it all together, cut out the small problems and then I believe we can do that.
Christian Horner – Team Principal & CEO
Both drivers were impeccable today, and we got our strategy absolutely right. The soft and medium tyres were definitely the quickest. After both drivers’ first pitstop, we saw that the tyres were in really good shape, so it was a no-brainer to put on the mediums. Checo had a little bit of trouble with his pitstop, but his recovery was phenomenal and to see both drivers on the podium is incredible. We are pleased we got it right today; of course, Max was truly remarkable. Frankly, Max is racing to another level. He’s raised the bar so high all season, and to break the record with 14 race wins is extraordinary, especially with a couple of races still to go. He deserves all the plaudits that are coming his way and his drive today demonstrates his maturity and ability to read a race and control it in a compelling manner.