(Montreal) Max Verstappen had a truly historic season in Formula 1, which however left many motor racing fans wanting more.

The Red Bull driver not only set new records for wins in a single season (19 in 22 races), but he also achieved the most podiums (21), ranking points (575 ) and the largest winning margin in the history of the championship, founded in 1950. Verstappen also became the first driver to reach the plateau of 1000 laps led in a Grand Prix during the same season.

Only Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. managed to avoid Red Bull’s sweep in 2023, unexpectedly winning the Singapore Grand Prix on September 17. However, that did not prevent Verstappen, who finished fifth in this race, from winning a third consecutive world championship.

“What an incredible year,” Verstappen said as he climbed out of his car after the final event of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, on November 26.

“You dominated everything this year,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on the radio. We are all very proud of you. »

If these results are anything to go by, then Verstappen should be able to continue his record hunt in 2024. The 26-year-old driver is currently third in career F1 victories, having surpassed the total of Sebastian Vettel (53), at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His next targets will be Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton, the record holder, with 103 triumphs.

In total, Red Bull has won 21 of 22 races this season, when you add the two victories of Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez. The latter, however, did not have the season he hoped for – far from it, in fact – although he concluded the campaign in second place in the championship, 290 points behind Verstappen.

The Mexican’s future at Red Bull is likely to attract attention during the off-season. Several rumors have circulated during the last weeks of the calendar; Daniel Ricciardo, who returned to the Red Bull family by replacing Nyck De Vries at Alpha Tauri heading into the summer break, could be promoted alongside Verstappen.

Otherwise, other rumors linked Hamilton to Red Bull before he agreed to a two-season contract extension from Mercedes in August. The Briton, a seven-time world champion, was, however, quick to deny in Abu Dhabi that his representatives, or he himself, had approached Red Bull to obtain a drive with the Austrian Formula 1 team.

That being said, regardless of who Verstappen partners at Red Bull next season, there is no doubt that the Dutchman will once again be the favorite to sweep it all in 2024.

It’s an open secret that the Quebecer had another difficult season at Aston Martin. And his setbacks began even before he took part in the first race of the season.

Stroll, from Mont-Tremblant, fractured his right wrist, two bones in his left wrist and the toe of his right foot following a fall while training on his bike in Spain, in preparation for winter testing in Bahrain in February.

After going under the knife to repair his injuries and missing practice, Stroll unexpectedly managed to post the eighth fastest time in qualifying and sixth place in the race at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5—just 12 days after his fall.

However, reality eventually caught up with Stroll, who was in poor shape compared to the rest of the field.

After another success early in the season at the Australian Grand Prix, where he recorded his best result this season (4th), Stroll was never able to be in the game afterwards. And bad luck continued to befall him.

After suffering an infection that prevented him from participating in media activities at the Dutch Grand Prix in August, Stroll suffered a crash during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix. which prevented him from finding himself on the starting grid the next day.

The 25-year-old Quebecer finished the campaign in 10th place among drivers, far behind his new teammate at Aston Martin, veteran Fernando Alonso, who finished fourth. It was also the first time that the Spaniard had cracked the top-5 of the drivers’ championship since the 2012 and 2013 seasons, when he finished second with Ferrari, each time behind Vettel (Red Bull).

Stroll, true to himself, nevertheless gave a positive assessment of his season.

“I am pleased that we finished 2023 with a stronger performance that we can be proud of. It’s definitely been a learning year – we’ve had our ups and downs – but we’re in a good place for next year,” he summed up.

As for the 42-year-old Spaniard, who is already under contract for next season with Aston Martin, he appears to have revitalized his career in 2023. Alonso has recorded eight podiums, and he has stood on the second step of the podium in three occasions, notably at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

“If you had told me before this weekend (in Abu Dhabi) that I would finish fourth in the championship, I wouldn’t have believed you – so it’s a real gift. I’m really happy with the way I drove all season; I think this is my best and most consistent season since 2012. I think I got the most out of the car all season,” Alonso said in a statement after the conclusion of the 22nd stage of the campaign.

It will now remain to be seen whether the F1 world champion in 2005 and 2006 will once again be able to defy the passage of time and maintain the pace next season. Otherwise, it could be a long season at Aston Martin.