Adrian Newey makes Max Verstappen claim about controversial 2021 championship

Red Bull ace Max Verstappen could claim his third consecutive title at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has hailed reigning World Champion Max Verstappen as “one of the all-time greats”, with the Dutchman being just one win away from a huge record.

Verstappen returned from the summer break last weekend at the Dutch Grand Prix and looked like he’d never been away, as the 25-year-old stormed to yet another victory.

The two-time World Champion claimed his 11th victory of the season at his home race, which was also his ninth consecutive victory.

He therefore matched Sebastian Vettel’s record from 2013, with Verstappen now having a chance to eclipse the four-time World Champion’s record.

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Should the Dutchman claim victory at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, then he’ll hold the record for most consecutive wins.

What goes in Verstappen’s favour is that he won at Monza 12 months ago; however, that could also go against him.

There is somewhat of a Monza ‘curse’, with the winner of the race in 2019, 2020 and 2021 having then retired the following season.

Given that the Red Bull driver has finished no lower than second all season, the expectation is that Verstappen will break the curse.

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Should he win on Sunday, then the likes of Lewis Hamilton believe that he could win every remaining race, which would extend Verstappen’s winning streak to 18 races.

Even if he doesn’t do this, the championship leader is all but set to claim a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship, which would see him join the likes of Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna.

Due to his huge 138-point advantage over Sergio Perez, Verstappen could seal the title in September, at the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Verstappen’s 2023 campaign will go down in history as one of the most dominant, with Newey being convinced that the Dutchman has traits similar to “all the real greats”.

“Max is clearly one of the all-time greats and he’s at the top of his game,” Newey told

“Since he won the championship in 21 I think that took a lot of pressure off himself, and his driving has got a lot better for that.

“He’s totally in tune. The thing about Max, like all the real greats, is that you have the impression he almost drives the car on automatic, which leaves plenty of processing power to think about everything.”