Romain Grosjean in awe of Max Verstappen despite ‘wrong call’

Max Verstappen claimed 15 victories in 2022, meaning he won 68-percent of the races.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has hailed Max Verstappen’s 2022 campaign as “the best” he’s ever seen in F1, with the Frenchman labelling it as “99-percent perfect”.

Verstappen has been imperious this season, with the Dutchman having claimed a second consecutive Drivers’ Championship with relative ease, given that he won 15 races in 2022.

Verstappen’s 15 wins saw him eclipse the record for most wins in a single season, whilst he also broke the record for most points accumulated in a campaign.

He staggeringly won 9 of the last 11 races of the season, with the Dutchman having failed to even claim at podium at the Singapore and Brazilian Grand Prix.

READ: Jenson Button makes 2023 prediction after Max Verstappen domination

It’s the race at Interlagos that is stopping Verstappen’s season from being 100-percent perfect, though, with the 25-year-old having controversially defied team orders on the final lap of the race.

With the title having already been sealed, Verstappen was asked to give P6 to Sergio Pérez, who was fighting for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

His refusal to do so resulted in a lot of criticism, with Verstappen supposedly having his own personal reasons for defying the team.

“I honestly think it’s one of the best that I’ve seen in Formula 1,” Grosjean said on the Motor Sport Magazine podcast.

Article continues below

“It’s 99 per cent perfect, [the missing] one per cent being Brazil. That was the wrong call and the wrong message.

“Apart from that, there’s nothing you can say. He was there in qualifying, he was there in the race. Even when he spun in Hungary he still won the race.

“When you start doing that positive spiral you get everything right and nothing can stop you, so that was simply amazing.

“The only small touch I would say was the Brazil thing [when] he didn’t want to let Checo by. The rest, honestly I don’t think you can do much better.”

Verstappen’s stand-out drives from 2022 were his wins at the Hungaroring and Spa.

At the Hungaroring, Verstappen started the race P10, span during the race, and still claimed victory, whilst at Spa he staggeringly won by nearly 18 seconds from Checo, despite starting from 14th!

Grosjean hailed Verstappen as having been “stronger than anyone else” on those two occasions, with the Frenchman admitting that it must have “hurt a lot” for Pérez.

READ: ‘Charles Leclerc gets too much credit compared to Carlos Sainz’

“In those two races he was stronger than anyone else,” Grosjean added.

“In those races it’s not hard to be one of the competitors because you’re just like, ‘well, it is another level’.

“It’s hard to be a team-mate [in that scenario] because, when you see that happening and you don’t do it, it hurts a lot. But for the rest, they were in a different league.”