Max Verstappen shares more about winning the F1 title in Abu Dhabi GP as he speaks on emotions, the season, high/low moments, Jos, Red Bull, Honda and more.
Having talked about how the F1 Abu Dhabi GP panned out, Red Bull’s Verstappen had more to talk about the season in general which was incredible as per him. He also talked about the moment in the cockpit before he got out of the car on the grid.
Verstappen admitted that he was a bit emotional under the helmet. The other emotional moments he discussed was related to his father Jos and the years of toil they went through since small age to be in the position they are in now, becoming champions together.
He added on winning it for Red Bull and Honda, who supported them immensely during the 2021 F1 season. On taking the drivers’ title and missing out on constructors’, Verstappen noted that team rallied him on to push for the former which has more prestige.
Verstappen then talked of the high moments in Monaco, Austria and Netherlands, while adding on how the low moments in Baku and Silverstone helped him be a better person. In fact, he felt being in hospital was the worst moment of the season.
Here’s what Verstappen said:
Emotions during the race and its end:
Verstappen: “Pretty crazy but also a massive cramp in my leg in that whole last lap. So I was behind Lewis going through Turn 2, 3 and I had a massive cramp, so I was like full-throttle but barely just having the force to push anymore, so I was happy that there was Turn 5 so I could brake and relax for a few seconds, and then back on it for the two long straights which is very, very painful – but of course for that last lap, you just bite through it but yeah, insane emotions afterwards. When the visor’s closed, nobody can see you but of course, with all the celebrations it was just incredible, an incredible feeling.”
General view on season:
Verstappen: “It’s been an incredible season, not only this race but incredible battles, coming into the season of course I had a feeling we might have a better shot at it, compared to the previous years basically – but to be sitting here right now, that’s an unbelievable achievement. I was very emotional on the in-lap, that’s for sure.”
Verstappen: “Difficult. Quite a few. Monaco was very nice to win after the difficult times I had there, through myself but also just unlucky moments. Two wins in Austria, my home win in Zandvoort, and I think of course now at the end, just the crazy outcome of this race, of course, will definitely be a highlight.”
Lowest moments, how it affected:
Verstappen: “Sitting in hospital the whole evening having checks, that was definitely the lowest point. Because you don’t want to be there. Baku was not nice. But those are the moments that make you a better driver, I think, at the end. People also doubt ‘ah, you know with impact or whatever, you might doubt. There was also criticism and whatever. But I think what, again, these moments teach you is that you have to keep believing in yourself and in your own beliefs, you know, and be a strong person about it, that’s always works very well for me.”
Dad’s support, journey plus Red Bull:
Verstappen: “It all flashes through your head now, especially with my Dad, travelling through all of Europe for that one goal, first was, of course, to be in Formula 1, to hope that you can win a race, and you hear the national anthem, but them of course the ultimate goal was the World Championship, which is very hard to achieve but now that happened. Yeah, it’s just insane – but also to have all my close family friends, my Dad, my manager, my girlfriend all here, that makes it extra special. Of course with my Dad it was very emotional. You know, growing up, working for that goal and then you’ve achieved it, that was just truly incredible. And besides that, Christian lost his voice so even myself, it’s all a bit tricky to talk but yeah, it was an incredible feeling for everyone.”
Winning it with and for Red Bull-Honda:
Verstappen: “It’s incredible to be working with a team like this and together with Honda, you know, this was also their last race with us. It’s been an incredible journey together and this is what we were always working for and hoping for and for it to then end for them in the way it did is just insane so I’m incredibly happy, also, for them.
Taking the drivers’ title, missing on constructors’:
Verstappen: “I think even when you talk to the team, they really wanted me to win this championship, but over the whole season we were not the quickest. So, then it’s natural that you can’t win the team championship. But we gave it all you know, we can’t be disappointed about anything because we really maximized a lot of our results. Like I said, we gave it all, and of course in the team championship we came up short but we won the Drivers’.”
Here’s how Red Bull celebrated the last lap: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.must-see-red-bull-garage-erupts-in-celebration-at-championship-win.1719028807610854498.html
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