SportF1Verstappen emotionally compares this title and the one in...

Verstappen emotionally compares this title and the one in Abu Dhabi

Verstappen clinched the 2022 F1 drivers’ championship with victory at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, reaching the necessary points lead after Leclerc ‘s five-second penalty dropped the Ferrari driver to third.

Winning the title with four races to go is very different from Verstappen’s first world championship last year, which came on the last lap of the last race of the season after an intense battle with Lewis Hamilton.

Comparing the two wins that the two titles have given him, Max Verstappen said: “I think the first one is always a bit more emotional. But the second one is probably even more beautiful.”

Verstappen highlighted Red Bull’s dominant year that has seen it take 12 wins – one short of the record for most wins in a single season – and help the team to (not yet a mathematician) what will be its first constructors’ world championship since 2013.

“It’s incredible the season we’ve had with so many victories and just the great races and the teamwork, with the one-two finishes we’ve achieved and, of course, leading the constructors. Now we want to focus on that too, on trying to seal that championship,” Verstappen said.

“So it’s been quite a special year. It’s something you have to remember, because you don’t get these kinds of years very often.”

Verstappen’s two consecutive World Championships in F1 came despite a major overhaul of the technical regulations for this year, which saw the cars behave differently, as well as the impact of the cost cap.

Verstappen found that he was capable of winning races this year in a different way than in 2021. He won from tenth on the grid in Hungary, from fourteenth in Belgium after an engine penalty and from seventh in Italy again after a grid penalty.

“Last year it was all really down to qualifying, and that’s usually how you win a race,” Verstappen reflected.

“Now, even with some engine penalties, we were back at the front. It’s been a really great year, and of course a very special year, which in the future will be very difficult, I think, for us to match.”

“That’s why I think we have to savor it and really enjoy it. We were already enjoying it. Probably now we can enjoy it a little more,” he concluded.

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