Max Verstappen expands on the highs/lows of F1 2022 title win along with Red Bull’s fightback and confidence under new rules.
Red Bull’s Verstappen was crowned a two time F1 World Champion in Japanese GP and he did it with four races to spare despite a sluggish start for both him and the team. They picked it up massively as the season went on and with drivers’ title done, they should claim the constructors’ title too sooner than later.
But for Verstappen he is the man of the moment and even though the sport has been denied last seasons last lap finale, the best man won in 2022 after the fight against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crumbled due to the Italian manufacturer’s problems and some mistakes from the Monegasque at crucial junctures.
Here’s Verstappen reflecting on the 2022 F1 title win:
Verstappen: “I think I have to go for the Spa weekend. Because I think that was just total dominance, which, yeah, these kinds of weekends, they very rarely happen like that. And especially when I came home that night, you know, you start to reflect a bit on the weekend. And you realise that was, yeah, pretty crazy and pretty special.”
Verstappen: “The main low moments were in the beginning of the season with the retirements, because you know, even if you have a little bit of a bad race, you always have to score points, right. And retiring is the worst thing that can happen.”
Thoughts of when he could have won it –
Verstappen: “I mean, there were a few moments where I thought, you know, we have a good chance of winning it. But I think the moment where I thought now we are going to win it was I think after Paul Ricard, where the lead, you know, increased by quite a bit. We had a quite competitive car, I knew it was going to be quite close, you know, in the coming races, but I was like, you know, this is a gap which we cannot give away anymore.”
Confidence under new rules that Red Bull would continue on pace –
Verstappen: “Yeah, I mean, naturally, when you’re in such a close battle, some other teams who are not in that battle can start earlier, right, because they have not really a lot to gain in that year. So that’s why we always thought, you know, the start of the season might be a little bit more difficult. But I think already with that start of the season we had, we were actually positively surprised that we were that competitive. But then it’s all about…
“Even when you’re probably not where you want to be fully, it’s all about scoring points, and we were not doing that. So that was definitely a bit disappointing. But at the other end, we all stayed calm. Of course, we were not happy about what was happening. But we still believed in everything. And yeah, we stayed calm, improved the car, got rid of some weight in the car and yeah, just kept working towards the same direction, the same goal and that’s why we are here now.”
Early season issues and points gap –
Verstappen: “Yeah, I mean, of course, at the time, you’re also just really upset with the situation, but just looking at how the whole season was going in terms of how close the cars were, yeah it’s very surprising, of course, to have this much of a lead. But when you, of course, look at what happened during the races you can understand. So yeah, I’m, of course, in a way pleased that it was like that. But of course, in any other way you do like, of course, having a close battle. But hopefully we can have that then next year.”
Team’s reaction and picking up after troubles –
Verstappen: “To be honest, we were just very upset. But I think we also, we know that we have to fix it quickly. And to be honest, we were feeling alright. It was not like that we were down in the team. Everyone was like: ‘it’s a long season, a lot of things can happen’. I say it’s true. Absolutely. Just have to try and fix what is going wrong at the moment. And then, of course, anything is possible. But that’s a good thing, I think, about the team: we don’t act really disappointed, or you certainly get a very different feeling within the team. Everyone is of course upset, with what happened, but then we also tried to really quickly fix it and super motivated to try and turn it around.
“So yeah, it’s maybe a day where you’re a bit upset or two days, but then you’re on calls, and talking to people: what can we do? what can we fix? And how do we move forward. And you get to the next race, and everyone is smiling again. And we all have the same goals. So that’s the thing, the nice part of the team. You always stay quite neutral in success and disappointments. Because I think at the end of the day, that works best because, you have to just keep being focused. Of course, you know, now, it’s amazing, winning all these races and winning the Championship. But then tomorrow, you wake up, like, ‘we still need to win a few more’. That’s just the mentality within the team.”
Here’s Sergio Perez on Charles Leclerc fight
Here’s Max Verstappen on confusion over title win
Here’s Max Verstappen on tractor issue
Here’s FIA listing Red Bull, Aston Martin in coast cap breach