Despite having already sealed the 2023 World Drivers’ Championship several weeks ago, Max Verstappen has continued to work as hard as ever, highlighting the “dedication” which is needed to become World Champion.
For the Formula 1 paddock, the last few weeks have been relentless.
A triple-header in Austin, Mexico City and Sao Paulo was followed by a week off, ahead of last weekend’s first Las Vegas Grand Prix since 1982.
Several drivers on the grid used the week off between Sao Paulo and Las Vegas to take a short break, to mentally and physically prepare themselves for Sin City.
Given that he’s already sealed the title, some would suspect that Verstappen would be the first to take a holiday; however, this isn’t the case.
Croft revealed that he spoke to the three-time World Champion at the United States Grand Prix and asked him if he was planning on having a rest ahead of Las Vegas.
Verstappen informed the commentator that a rest wasn’t on the agenda; instead, he would head straight back to Milton Keynes to prepare for Sin City.
“I said to Max, I had a little chat with him in Austin, I said: ‘What’s your schedule like for the next few weeks?’ and he was telling me he was going here, going there. I said: ‘Bit of a rest though between Brazil and Las Vegas?’” Croft told Sky Sports F1.
“He said: ‘No, I am going back to Milton Keynes. I am going to be in the sim for a couple of days.’ I said: ‘Why? You’re world champion.’ He said: ‘I would kick myself if I didn’t do it, if I didn’t put the effort in and I came to Vegas and I didn’t win’. And that’s the dedication that makes you a champion.”
Verstappen’s preparations for Las Vegas were clearly effective, as he recovered from a five-second time penalty to claim his 18th win of 2023.
The Dutchman was slapped with the penalty for forcing Charles Leclerc off the circuit at the first corner, although this didn’t stop the Red Bull driver from being victorious.
After the season he’s had, Verstappen certainly deserves a lengthy holiday after this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, although he’ll likely be busy preparing for 2024.