Max Verstappen’s achievements at just 25 years old have been hailed as “quite frightening” by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who admits he’s “never seen” a driver before with the “raw ability” that the imperious Dutchman has.
2022 was a sensational year for Verstappen, as he claimed a second consecutive Drivers’ Championship with ease, following a plethora of errors by Ferrari that dearly cost Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen would’ve likely claimed the 2022 title even if Ferrari didn’t capitulate, with the Red Bull star having claimed a record-breaking 15 wins, eclipsing Sebastian Vettel’s and Michael Schumacher’s previous record for 13 wins in a season.
Vettel’s record for most points scored in a campaign was also broken by Verstappen this year, with the Dutchman having accumulated 454 points.
The Dutch driver is rapidly closing in on Vettel’s 38 wins for Red Bull, with Verstappen now having 35 to his name.
To claim the honour of most successful Red Bull driver, though, Verstappen needs two more world titles, to match Vettel’s four Drivers’ Championships.
Both drivers are sensational in their own right, with Horner admitting that it’s difficult to compare the two as they are “such different people”, with one similarity being their target “to be the best”.
“I think they’re such different people,” Horner said.
“I mean, Sebastian was very Germanic in his work ethic. He worked very, very hard. Max – just a very natural, raw ability that has a hunger and determination like I’ve certainly never seen before.
“So, very different in so many ways, but very similar in their determination, in their desire to want to win, to want to be the best.
“Max, whatever he goes on to achieve in his career, has done so much in such a short space of time. At the age of just 25, it’s quite frightening to think what actually lies ahead of him.”
When looking back on 2022, a year which also saw the Austrians claim their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013, Horner admitted that their Italian rivals “had their chances” of winning races.
The season will likely be remembered for Red Bull domination; however, the story would’ve been drastically different if Ferrari had mastered their strategies.
“It was a very tough year,” Horner said.
“When you look at the statistics, it looks like we totally dominated it but certainly – in the first half of the season – Ferrari had their chances and probably a quicker package.
“But Max was outstanding throughout the year, particularly in that first half.”