SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Race winner and 2022 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
In the 2022 season alone, Max Verstappen has been crowned world champion for the second time in his career and racked up the most wins in a single season in F1 history. On top of that, Oracle Red Bull Racing team won their first Championship title since 2013, because of the hard work of a great team. We’d say that’s pretty close to maximum achievement!
ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 04: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 waves to the crowd during the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 04, 2022 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, the Belgian-Dutch wunderkind with a need for speed – and a thirst for first. Son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen and karting champion Sophie Kumpen, Max had a taste for speed almost from birth. From the age of two, his parents saw the signs of a budding driver beginning to emerge. By the time he was four, he’d convinced his father to allow him onto a karting track, and it wasn’t long before he was beating competitors several years his senior.
When asked what Max was like as a kid, his father Jos has shared that the indications that he was destined for the track…
« He was driving all the time. He had a feeling with an engine. It didn't matter whether it was a quad bike, an electric jeep - you know, the small things for children - or whatever. He was always busy with driving practice. Every day he needed to be on it. »Jos Verstappen
After an illustrious career – and several broken records – in junior karting and single-seater categories (KF3, WSK World Series, K72), including a year in Formula 3, Max became the youngest ever Formula 1 driver, at age 17. This isn’t a record that’s going to be broken any time soon – F1 has now passed a rule preventing drivers from joining until the age of 18.
With an instinctive racing style, it didn’t take Verstappen long before he began setting even more records; a year later, he became the youngest F1 Grand Prix race winner, driving for Oracle Red Bull Racing in Barcelona, at the age of 18.
By 2021, he’d become the first Dutch driver to win the Formula One World Championship and the 34th F1 World Drivers’ Champion, after a legendary showdown against Lewis Hamilton. But he didn’t stop there. In this 2022 season, his win at the Japanese Grand Prix brought another Championship, making him one of the very few drivers ever to win the title two years running.
AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing crosses the finish line as team members celebrate in parc ferme following the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Our faith was not misplaced in Verstappen’s virtuosic skill, and its ability to drive him forward to victory. How does he do it? The secret to his legendary talent might remain a mystery, but one thing is for sure: he possesses a laser-like focus on achieving the task in front of him. Perhaps Max has said it best in his own words:
« That's what counts, [it’s] how my dad taught me to live. You have to focus on yourself and work with your team. Nothing else matters." »Max Verstappen
SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Race winner and 2022 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images )
Congratulations to the whole Oracle Red Bull Racing team, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez for another amazing F1 season!
Which TAG Heuer watches did Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez wear during this triumphant season? Find out here.
Feast your eyes on the TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Red Bull Racing Special Edition.