Max Verstappen

1 minute read
By Sean Gregory

Over the past 12 months, Max Verstappen has won in Miami and Monaco and Abu Dhabi. He’s won in Japan and Qatar and Austria and Hungary, and other places across the continents. No athlete has enjoyed more victory laps, in more disparate places around the world, than Verstappen, the Formula One driver who has won three straight F1 championships. Verstappen, who races under the Dutch flag, is so confident behind the wheel that during at least one race he’s been able to keep an eye on the screens around the track in order to watch the battle going on behind him. Orange-clad fans flock to his races to cheer him on, while others, dressed in the outfits of rival teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, boo him on the podium. The $3.2 billion Formula One business, which grew 25% in 2023, now centers on a singular question. Can anyone stop Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing machine? He’s entrenched—quite comfortably—in the driver’s seat.

Gregory is a TIME senior correspondent

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