Dutch racing driver makes surprising claim about Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen wrapped up the 2022 drivers’ championship in Suzuka, with four races to spare.

Max Verstappen will have been relieved that the journey to his second world championship was not as stressful as the first, as his 2021 rival Lewis Hamilton proved to not be a threat due to Mercedes’ uncompetitive machinery.

The Dutchman picked up a record breaking 15 wins on his way to the 2022 title, as Red Bull and Ferrari won every single race over the course of the season, barring Brazil, where George Russell picked up Mercedes’ only victory of the year.

Many have praised Verstappen for his dominating year in Formula 1, with Red Bull providing him with the best car on the grid, however former F1 driver Jan Lammers has suggested that the 25-year-old did not dominate and has explained why this makes his achievements much more impressive.

“I don’t know if all of us realise how special this year was. Of course we have the record with 15 wins from Max. That is really special,” began Lammers.

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“Usually such victories come from dominance but the most special thing of all is Max hasn’t dominated. The last few races looked easy but he still had to fight for it and even started the season with a bit of adversity.

“When you look at all the races won that way, then that is very special. Every motorsport enthusiast should be grateful that you are part of this generation.”

As Lammers suggested, the season start off disastrously for Verstappen, who was forced to retire from both the Bahrain and Australian Grand Prix as Red Bull struggled with early reliability issues.

This saw Charles Leclerc storm to a 40 point lead after three races, but mistakes from Ferrari’s strategists quickly saw this lead disintegrate, and Verstappen run away with the title, eventually winning by nearly 150 points.

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A third consecutive title will be a difficult task for Verstappen and Red Bull, after the teams cost cap breach penalty will see Red Bull’s wind tunnel testing time cut by ten percent, handing Mercedes and Ferrari a significant advantage over the energy drink giants over the winter break.

Lewis Hamilton will be hungry to get back to winning ways following his first winless season in Formula 1, while Charles Leclerc will be hoping that the departure of Mattia Binotto from Ferrari can be the catalyst for a change of fortunes at Ferrari.

Verstappen will be hoping that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is playing mind games with their rivals, as his suggested that the team’s penalty could cost them half a second in lap time will certainly worry the Dutchman.