Formula 1: Max Verstappen officially crowned 2022 World Champion

Max Verstappen was officially crowned Formula 1 World Champion after a dominant 2022 season at the FIA Prize Giving gala
Max Verstappen was crowned 2022 Formula 1 World Champion at the FIA Prize Giving gala
Max Verstappen was crowned 2022 Formula 1 World Champion at the FIA Prize Giving gala

(Motorsport) Max Verstappen received his second consecutive Formula 1 World Championship title at the FIA Prize Giving gala in Bologna on Friday, almost three weeks after winning his record breaking 15th race. No driver had ever won more than 13 races in a single season before Verstappen, who had a thoroughly dominant 2022 season with Red Bull Racing. The 25 year old insisted that this year’s title was more enjoyable than his maiden title, which was won under controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“The emotions are very different, but I think they should be anyway, because your whole life you aim for one particular goal, and that’s to become a world champion for me in F1, so the first one is always an emotional one once you achieve it. But this year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year, and more enjoyable with how we performed as a whole team. We won the Drivers, and the Constructors, 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. This year has been really, really enjoyable.

“Last year was the first time I was in a fight to win a title, so that was the first time you get that kind of experience. As a driver you learn from every single year, you get more experience and you look at what you can do better. And you know that when you have to fight for a title, you have to score points basically every race, as much as you can.

“That’s why, of course, at the beginning of the year it was very tough to have those DNF’s, but I knew from that point onwards, I couldn’t afford any mistakes from my side in case we would have a retirement for whatever reason. So you always try to be as clean as you can be and try to be as perfect as you can every single weekend. It’s what I try to demand from myself every time I jump into the car.”

Formula 1 2022 World Champion Max Verstappen

Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez were also at the event, having finished a distant second and third respectively. The 2022 season also marked the first time Lewis Hamilton failed to finish in the top three since his maiden season at Mercedes in 2013. As for Ferrari, with team principal Mattia Binotto leaving the Italian manufacturers this month, championship runners-up Charles Leclerc expects there to be a smooth transition which won’t affect the team’s on-track performance next season. Scuderia Ferrari are yet to announce a replacement although Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur has been linked as a replacement after Binotto resigned in November.

“I’ve never had a team principal change during when I was racing for the same team. It will probably require a little bit of time for the [new] team principal to get at ease with the system and Ferrari, because it’s obviously a huge team. But I believe that if it’s done the right way I don’t think we’ll suffer any of it on the track. I’m pretty sure it will be a smooth transition. I can only thank him (Binotto).

“He has believed in me right from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract and before being team principal he was also inside the Scuderia [team] for many, many years. He has contributed to the success the team had in past years so I wish him the best and now it’s up to us to focus on the future and try to make the right choices to be a bit more of a challenge to Red Bull next year.”

Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc

Also read: Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo interested in setting up F1 team for 2026


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