Formula 1: Max Verstappen has shed an unwanted nickname

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

Max Verstappen has caused the least amount of damage throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season and is responsible for less than 10% of Red Bull’s total damage.

Once upon a time, two-time reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen was known as a reckless and mistake-prone driver who struggled to make it to the end of a race, and there was no sign of that changing.

The Dutchman threw away a number of race-winning opportunities in 2017 and 2018 with far too aggressive moves, and after his practice crash in Monaco back in 2018, there were even rumors that Red Bull may decide to demote him back to Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri), having promoted him to the main team in May 2016 at the age of 18.

But since that wreck, Verstappen has practically been a different driver, with some even pointing to that afternoon as the turning point in his career.

However, his success since then didn’t completely alleviate the need for some fans to refer to him as “Crashstappen” (or, in rarer cases, Vercrashen), as his reputation still preceded him.

Now, however, Max Verstappen finds himself in last place in the so-called Formula 1 “World Destructor Championship”.

Having caused just $220,000 in damage to the RB19 through the first 15 races on the 22-race 2023 schedule, he finds himself as arguably the least crash-prone driver on the grid. $95,000 of that damage came in Baku back in April, and the other $125,000 came at Silverstone back in July.

Only two other drivers, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, have caused less than twice the damage Verstappen has caused, ringing up at $225,000 each. Next on the list is Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at $525,000.

On the flip side of the list, Williams rookie Logan Sargeant leads the way at $2,794,000, followed by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll at $2,292,000.

While some have attributed Verstappen’s clean driving to the strength of the car (and the fact that that strength has led to several runaway victories), third on the list is Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez at $2,109,000, leaving Verstappen responsible for less than 9.5% of the team’s total damage.

Will Verstappen, who just saw his record-breaking 10-race win streak come to an end in Singapore, continue to be the cleanest driver on the grid throughout the rest of the 2023 Formula 1 season?

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is running a promotion that awards fans an instant and guaranteed $200, lists Verstappen as the favorite to win this Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix for the second year in a row.

Odds and availability are subject to change, so lock in your $200 today before it’s too late!

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ESPN2 is set to broadcast the Japanese Grand Prix live from Suzuka Circuit beginning at 12:55 a.m. ET this Sunday, September 24. If you have not yet begun a free trial of FuboTV, do so now and don’t miss it!