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F1 | Verstappen: 2022 title "better" and "more rewarding"

Speaking at the FIA Prize Giving Press Conference, Max Verstappen discussed his dominant 2022 season as well as the emotions attached to winning his first championship last season

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F1 | Verstappen: 2022 title "better" and "more rewarding"
Fuente imagen: fia.com

Max Verstappen has shared insight into his championship winning 2022 season with Red Bull at the FIA Prize Giving Press Conference. The reigning champion was asked if his feelings are different this year than that of his maiden championship title last season.

The Dutchman admits the feelings are very different but acknowledges that they “should be different”. Despite this, he says his 2022 season is more rewarding due to the team’s dominance throughout the season, with Verstappen breaking the record for most race wins in a season.

“The emotions are very different, but I think anyway, they should be different,” said Verstappen during the conference. “Because your whole life you aim for one particular goal, and that is ‘become a world champion’, for me in Formula 1. So yeah the first one is always very emotional, once you achieve it. 

“This year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year. [I also think it was] more enjoyable with the way we were performing as a whole team. We won the drivers’ [championship] and the constructors’ [championship]. We had a lot of victories as a team.

“So I would say this one is better and more rewarding but the first one will always be more emotional,” he said, summing up his sentiments.

Verstappen was also asked at what point during his dominant 15-race-win season did he believe he was on course to win the championship. The Red Bull driver says he was confident from the beginning of the season due to the team’s strong showing during winter testing in Barcelona.

He went on to talk of the team’s quick adaptability, recovering from a poor performance and unreliability in Australia, as well as Red Bull’s development work which helped keep the team ahead of the competition as the teams began to shed excess weight from their cars.

“I think [I believed I could win] after Bahrain,he joked. “No, maybe not. But I mean when we put the car on the track in winter testing I think it was a very competitive car, but it was a little bit overweight. 

“I would say the way we bounced back after a tough weekend in Australia, to then go to Imola, and the weekend we had was just incredible. I knew that there was a lot of potential, but I also knew of course at that point we still had a lot of ground to catch up on.

“The car, since then, has been continuously being developed in the right way. Slowly the car was getting skinnier as well so that was good. Yeah, we’ve had a lot of incredible weekends as a team since then.”

Verstappen went on to single out the Belgian Grand Prix as a race from the season which stands out, after what can only be described as another dominant performance from the champion and Red Bull.

Spa [Francorchamps],Verstappen said matter of factly. “Just because of the weekend we had. We put the car on the track and everything was working perfectly. I barely touched the car and we were miles ahead of the others."

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