KENDALL: Max Verstappen and Red Bull are taking each other to new heights

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing drives during the Formula One Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)
Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing drives during the Formula One Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome on Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)

“Red Bull gives you wings” is a quote we all have seen or heard on our television screens. In racing, there is a different level of “wings."

Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen are the team everyone is chasing in Formula One and have been for the past three years. This pairing has been one that has been building to the ultimate partnership. 

Verstappen had the racing dream in his blood early on when he grew up watching his father Jos Verstappen make numerous laps around tracks. Young Max turned professional in 2013. Max first showcased his potential in the Florida Winter Series and Formula Three, winning numerous races and placing third in the overall standings. 

It was after this that the Formula One world got their first glimpse at Verstappen when he signed on with Scuderia Toro Russo. Quick on the scene, Max set records for the youngest driver to score World Championship points, as well as earning Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year awards. It was clear he was looking for something even greater to better showcase his talents, and he found that in Red Bull.

Red Bull had a solid driver in Daniel Ricciardo but Verstappen was clearly Red Bull’s future. Verstappen made good use of Red Bull’s desire to get him in their driver lineup when he won the Spanish Grand Prix for his first career win. 

At 18 years and 228 days old, Verstappen became the youngest winner in Formula One history. During the opening stretch, Red Bull and Verstappen accomplished six top-five finishes and four podiums. However, some drivers criticized Verstappen for his aggressive driving. 

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen races during the Miami Formula One Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday, May 8, 2022. (Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Kimi Raikkonen had this to say about Verstappen’s driving, “He is gonna cause a massive accident sooner or later.” Many other drivers echoed the same sentiment, and both Red Bull and Max realized he would have to clean up his actions on the track if he wanted to achieve ultimate success on it. 

Over the next couple of seasons, Red Bull and Verstappen claimed eight victories and 22 podium finishes, as well as two top-five points finishes. Beginning the new decade in 2020, Verstappen agreed to a contract extension signing him with Red Bull through 2023. 

What was on the horizon was something that will go down in the history books as one of the greatest runs in the sport’s history.

2020 was more of a building block with two more victories, 11 more podiums and a third-place points finish. Red Bull and Verstappen together were set to make their partnership achieve ultimate success with the 2021 season. 

Throughout this season, Verstappen was in a fierce battle with Lewis Hamilton for the World Championship. In the series finale race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen passed Hamilton on the final lap to claim his first World Championship.

Verstappen and Red Bull achieved the goal they set out to accomplish, but they weren’t done. The 2022 season began with a contract extension that signed Verstappen through 2028. 

Max got off to a slow start and fell behind by 46 points after the first three races but regained the series lead after winning five of the next seven races. Verstappen wouldn’t relinquish the series lead and won 15 races to claim his second straight World Championship.

2023 has been Verstappen and Red Bull’s best year yet, as Max won a record-breaking 10 races in a row. Verstappen won Red Bull its sixth Constructors Championship title and their second consecutive title. Verstappen clinched the 2023 title five races early. 

It doesn’t appear he is slowing down either, no pun intended. 

With both Verstappen and Red Bull seemingly doing no wrong in their quest for greatness, they together have become the new titan everyone is striving to beat.

Contact Zachary Kendall with comments via email at or on X @Kendall_Zachary.


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