Max Verstappen tells drivers to ‘stop’

Max Verstappen wrapped up his second world title in Suzuka.

2022 has been Red Bull’s year, as they won the drivers’ championship with Verstappen in Suzuka before wrapping up the constructors’ championship in Austin.

It looked as if fans would be treated to a title battle even better than 2021 in the early stages of the season, as Ferrari and Charles Leclerc seemed to be matching, if not bettering the energy drink giants.

It was not to be however as Ferrari made repeated strategy errors which put their drivers out of contention for numerous race wins, while issues with reliability also hindered their driver’s chances of challenging Red Bull.

It was a comfortable title win for Verstappen in the end as he smashed the win record and finished the season on 15 victories, but the Dutchman is aware that 2022 was likely a one off year.

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“You can’t have that drama every single year, for sure. It’s not good for me, it’s not healthy for anyone in the team – both teams,” explained the Dutchman.

“If you’re not prepared, then it’s better to stop already, right? I mean, I think we’re all racers and we love racing.

“Of course, it’s just that it’s nice to have a season like I had last year but it’s also nice to have a season like I have this year. It just would be very tough if you have that every single year you know, the year I had last year.

“But that also doesn’t really happen in Formula 1, so it should be okay.”

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Verstappen may well get his wish of a closer title battle next season, as Red Bull will have to deal with the consequences of their cost cap breach from 2021, with the team being punished for their wrongdoing last month.

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Red Bull will see their wind tunnel testing time for next year cut by ten per cent, which team principal Christian Horner believes could cost the team up to half a second in lap time for next year, which is a significant amount if true.

Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes’ advantage in testing time over Ferrari and Red Bull is a massive opportunity for the team to take advantage of, but has however said that it is up to the team to take advantage as nothing is guaranteed.

Red Bull will be hoping that their 2023 car is as competitive as it has been for the past two seasons, as Max Verstappen hopes to win his third championship in a row and fend off the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.