Max Verstappen said his third consecutive Formula One drivers' world title triumph, achieved in Saturday's sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix, was "the one I am most proud of — the best."

The 26-year-old Dutchman, who was champion in 2021 and 2022, finished second behind McLaren's Oscar Piastri after his Red Bull teammate and only remaining title rival Sergio Perez crashed out of the race — and championship contention.

"This one is the best," Verstappen said, "I think the first one was the most emotional, because that is when your dreams are fulfilled, but this is definitely my best year for consecutive wins, and stuff like that, and the car itself has been probably in the best shape as well.