By Paige Mastrandrea By Paige Mastrandrea | November 8, 2023 | Culture Watches & Jewelry People Lifestyle Feature Events The Latest Lifestyle Feature People Feature Culture Feature Travel Interviews Features Featured Celebrity Watches Latest Television Travel & Recreation Apple News News and Features sports
Formula 1 2023 world champion Max Verstappen as a one-track mind: winning.
2023 F1 World Championship winner Max Verstappen will race in the first-ever Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. PHOTO COURTESY BY MARKUS BERGER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL
Belgian Dutch prodigy Max Verstappen’s reign continues as the Oracle Red Bull Racing team star captures his third straight Formula 1 World Championship title. That brightly burning star power reached its apex in 2021 when the Formula 1 championship battle had never been so competitive. On one side, you had seven-year reigning champion Lewis Hamilton with Mercedes-AMG Petronas. On the other, there was then-24-year-old Verstappen. The teams went head-to-head through each race, each facing respective uphill battles. However, Verstappen continued to show consistency, skill, extreme focus and determination at each stop of the season. Some of the highlights included the Mexico City Grand Prix, United States and Monaco before the Abu Dhabi Championship—where, keeping up with the season, the battle came down to the wire—as Verstappen conquered the final winning lap and brought home the first Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers’ world championship title in eight years.
Verstappen is preparing for the first-ever Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Poised to be one of the most anticipated races of the year, complete with Las Vegas-level amenities—like grandstands in front of the Bellagio fountains, a 3.2-mile street circuit down the Strip and five-star hospitality components—the battle will commence on Nov. 16. Tickets to the race sold out almost immediately upon release over a year ago. If you’re lucky enough to snag the coveted ticket, expect to pay a hefty premium—indicative of how impactful this moment will truly be for the city.
Aside from Oracle Red Bull Racing, Verstappen also boasts an impressive collection of other partnerships, such as the prestigious honor of partnering with Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer. “I grew up in F1 since my dad was also a driver, so Red Bull and TAG Heuer were always around—to me, it was a natural fit. It is great to be teamed up with them. We’ve already launched some exciting collaborations, and I look forward to more,” Verstappen notes.
Verstappen’s partnership with TAG Heuer is extraordinarily important because, as a professional F1 driver, time is everything. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAG HEUER
On his wrist, he’s wearing the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special Edition. If you see him around—especially on race day—chances are he’ll be sporting this beauty. The iconic square chronograph was designed for the F1 powerhouse driver and, since his win at the Monaco Grand Prix, has become his go-to wrist candy for all important moments. “TAG Heuer gifted me this watch in 2021 before the race. Since I won, it has sort of turned into my lucky charm,” he notes. And since he’s continued on to become the 2022 and 2023 world champion, it’s safe to say there is likely credence to that belief. Having a watch brand partnership is an extraordinary and pivotal honor as a driver. “Time is super important as a driver. When you’re on the track, you want to be the fastest one, so the least amount of time you spend on a lap is, of course, ideal,” he notes. “Not only just lap time but preparing the car, traveling from one race to another—it all revolves around arriving on time.”
“TIME IS SUPER IMPORTANT AS A DRIVER. WHEN YOU’RE ON THE TRACK, YOU WANT TO BE THE FASTEST ONE.” –MAX VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen wears TAG Heuer’s Monaco Chronograph timepiece featuring a black sandblasted dial and an embossed black calfskin and rubber strap. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAG HEUER
Aside from sporting his lucky wrist token, Verstappen’s pre-race ritual is relatively simple and regimented. “It’s always important for me to get the right amount of food, not too much because you don’t want to feel full while driving, but enough for energy. I also have meetings with my team on strategy, going through the times and planning. I also say hello to the fans, relax in my room for a bit and then get ready; I warm up my muscles but nothing too crazy,” he shares.
From a young age, Verstappen learned this diligent regimen from the person he admired most—his father. Thus, it was only natural that he would pick up the sport and follow in his father’s footsteps to pursue the career. “I grew up traveling all over the world, achieving this life goal together with my father. To me, he is an inspiration. When you do this kind of thing together, it’s a special experience. When you’re little, you listen a lot and take in a lot of advice. When you see that advice working out for you, it makes it all the more important, and you have a lot of respect for that. I try to use that guidance from him throughout my career,” he shares.
PHOTO BY MARK THOMPSON/GETTY IMAGES
Amazingly, the young driver does not require much motivation aside from the sought-after championship title to remain focused. What keeps him going is a genuine love of the sport. “I love what I’m doing, so I never need to tell myself to stay motivated. When you love what you do and enjoy who you’re working with, it’s just a natural thing,” he says. And while only 26 years old, he’s learned his share of lessons from his career’s competitive and demanding nature. “The best takeaway, I’ve come to recognize, is to always be yourself. My dad ingrained in me from a young age to be myself, be honest and straightforward, and people will appreciate that, so that’s how I always try to be.”
Proving true thus far, it’s safe to say we’re placing our money on Verstappen this Las Vegas Grand Prix. With the world’s best drivers, brand activations, live entertainment and more, Nov. 16 through 18 is poised to rock our city like never before. Drivers, start your engines!