Max Verstappen’s title success in 2021 could be the beginning of a period of dominance for the Dutchman, former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer has opined.
Verstappen snatched the championship from Sir Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, claiming his tenth win and 18th podium of the season.
It was an immense campaign for the 24-year-old, and Palmer thinks this championship could be the first of many.
“You wonder where he can go from here now that he has his first title under his belt,” Palmer wrote in his latest Formula1.com column.
He also cited Red Bull’s previous world champion, Sebastian Vettel, who would go on to win three more on the trot following his maiden title in 2010.
“It’s worth remembering that when Sebastian Vettel took victory for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi in 2010, to become the youngest ever World Champion, it was the start of a run four titles in succession for the German.”
The 30-year-old praised Verstappen’s Red Bull team, as well as the rear-gunner job that Sergio Perez often did for his team-mate.
“Red Bull have been rejuvenated this season and are absolutely at one with their driver, giving him their full backing when questions were asked, and deploying every possible tactic to maximise the Dutchman’s efforts, as showcased by Sergio Perez’s heroics on the weekend as well.”
Inevitable championship glory for Verstappen
Continuing, Palmer said he believes that even had Verstappen been pipped to the championship this season, it was only a matter of time until his triumph arrived anyway.
“Had Verstappen not won this year, with his immense talent and determination, it would be inevitable his day would come at some point. But with him winning now, you wonder what confidence he can take from it and where he can go,” continued Palmer.
He now thinks that Verstappen may well embark on a fresh period of dominance in the sport:
“For a driver who has demolished three successive teammates in three years and made only a handful of small mistakes in that time, you question what scope their even is for improvement – but if he can take his game onto another level from here, we could be about to see the start of a new era of dominance.”
Verstappen will race with the Number 1 on his car next season – the number reserved for the reigning world champion.