Max Verstappen is confident with the points lead but is cautious about the situation after facing some issues early on in the 2022 F1 season.
For Red Bull and Verstappen, it’s been a fantastic opening half of the 2022 F1 season. After a sluggish start which saw the Dutchman retire twice in the opening three Grands Prix, he has taken seven wins in the last ten races (note: eight wins from the first 13 ). There are those who say the championship race is over already.
Admittedly, he is the equivalent of three wins, bonus point for FL and a little more ahead of Charles Leclerc and his confidence is high going into the second half of the year with an 80 point advantage. “Of course, it’s a great lead,” said Verstappen. “But we cannot have too many days like Hungary qualifying. And even in the race, we had a few little issues with the clutch and the up-shifts, which was not great to drive”.
“Overall, of course, it’s good, but we just keep on working, keep on trying to improve things,” summed up Verstappen. It really is a race without end and that 80 point lead can be overhauled but Red Bull won’t stop moving forward. Ferrari too have had a terrific campaign. However, their strategy over the last few races (particularly for Leclerc) has been called into question.
To an extent, the Ferrari challenge has kept Verstappen and Red Bull on their toes. So much so that he is probably in a better position than last season and he has had to up the ante somewhat. “I think everyone always tries to do their best and sometimes that’s of course a bit harder to achieve but yeah, I find that difficult to comment because nobody does things on purpose and everyone always wants of course to try and get the best result out of it,” he said.
“And from my side as well, I always try to get the best result out of it and the team as well. Sometimes you do that better than other weekends. And we also dropped quite a few points as well from our side by having issues but yeah, I find that difficult to say that they helped me because at the end of the day you always have to perform yourself and as a team,” summed up Verstappen.
Eight wins so far, with the second half of the season to come, it’s not beyond the realms that Verstappen could match or better the record of 13 wins of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher “I don’t know,” he said. “We will of course try to win as many as we can in the remaining races we have. But of course, more importantly, we have to keep the lead in the Championship. That’s, of course, what we have to try and secure.”
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