Yuki Tsunoda ends Max Verstappen’s winning streak

Max Verstappen will be hoping to get back to winning ways at this weekend's 2023 Austrian GP.

Max Verstappen’s impressive winning streak in Formula 1 has come to a halt as he lost an off-road challenge to AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda. 

Verstappen has been dominating the F1 season with six victories out of eight races, including a remarkable four consecutive wins. 

His recent triumph in Canada marked his 41st career victory, matching the legendary Ayrton Senna’s record, while Red Bull celebrated their 100th race win since entering Formula 1 in 2005. 

However, it seems that Verstappen still has room for improvement when it comes to handling off-road vehicles.

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In the latest edition of Red Bull’s (Un)Serious Race Series, Verstappen and Tsunoda were pitted against each other in a race featuring 500-horsepower “Mega Trucks” capable of effortlessly crushing cars. 

The challenge took place at the Erzberg mine in the Styrian region of Austria, with a course loosely based on the Red Bull Ring circuit.

Despite Verstappen securing pole position as expected, it was Tsunoda who emerged victorious. 

Verstappen faced issues with his truck, contributing to his defeat. 

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Reflecting on his off-road experience, Verstappen admitted: “I’ve never really done anything properly offroad. 

“I have driven my dad’s rally car, but that was more on tarmac. 

“Honestly, the approach of my qualifying lap was to survive! It was a lot of fun.”

Tsunoda, on the other hand, was thrilled with his win and playfully confessed to a bit of sabotage. 

“Max had an amazing lap in quali, he was three seconds ahead. I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I need to push more throttle,'” Tsunoda revealed. 

“I had a good start and used my momentum until the end.

“Unfortunately, he had a bit of misfiring…well, actually, I put a bit of water into his engine, but don’t tell anyone! 

“That strategy worked, and I wanted to defend my first place from the first Unserious Race Series with Daniel.”

The (Un)Serious Race Series by Red Bull provides a platform for Formula 1 drivers to showcase their skills in unconventional challenges and different types of vehicles. 

The competition not only adds an element of entertainment but also allows the drivers to engage in friendly rivalry outside the high-pressure F1 environment.

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Verstappen’s defeat in the off-road challenge serves as a reminder that even the most accomplished F1 drivers can face new and unexpected challenges when venturing beyond the confines of the race track. 

As the F1 season progresses, Verstappen will likely use this experience to further enhance his versatility and adaptability as a driver. 

Meanwhile, Tsunoda’s victory adds another highlight to his growing career and highlights his ability to thrive in diverse racing conditions.