Max Verstappen and Red Bull have been a class above the rest in 2022, wrapping up both championships with time to spare to complete a dominant start to the new era of Formula 1.
The Dutchman has shattered the record of 13 wins in a season, previously held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, on his way to a second consecutive title.
Red Bull will become an independent powertrain manufacturer in 2026, when the new engine regulations come into play, and Honda have announced that they will continue to support the team up until this point.
Honda have been involved with Red Bull since the energy drink giants chose to move away from Renault engines at the end of the 2018 season and have shared a lot of success with Verstappen and the team.
Following the team’s first constructors’ championship victory with Honda, a ‘Honda Racing Thanks Day’ was held in Japan to celebrate the season’s success, with Honda chairman Seiji Kuraishi thanking Verstappen for delivering back to back drivers’ championships to the team.
As a reward for his title winning campaigns, Verstappen was handed the keys to a brand new Honda NSX Type S, which currently sells for well over £150,000.
“It’s an amazing car, so [I’m] very proud to receive it. Thank you very much,” said the 25-year-old after being presented with his surprise gift.
It will be much more difficult for Verstappen to replicate this season’s dominance next year, as Mercedes and Ferrari have expressed their confidence at providing their drivers with a car much more capable of challenging the Dutchman than they were able to this year.
Red Bull will also be forced to deal with a ten per cent reduction in their wind tunnel testing time as punishment for their breach of the 2021 cost cap, which team principal Christian Horner claims could cost the team up to half a second worth of lap time.
Helmut Marko has recently admitted that the only reason Red Bull accepted such a harsh penalty was to avoid a drawn out legal battle with the FIA, but only time will tell if the team will pay the ultimate price for their wrongdoing in 2021.