Famously declaring that losing the 2021 Formula 1 world championship to Lewis Hamilton would not "alter my life," Max Verstappen now claims that statement is still true after winning two championships.
The Red Bull driver declared at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix that he would be happy with the result of his epic battle with Hamilton and the British driver’s Mercedes team, win or lose. Verstappen was reminded of his previous statements by repoters more than a year after his 2021 victory, which there is evidence to suggest did change his approach to racing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Hamilton’s teammate George Russell, but was still producing the same combative attitude toward the seven-time world champion on the one occasion they actually went wheel-to-wheel.
When asked in our exclusive interview if winning the 2021 championship had altered him in any way, with the understanding that by winning five more races in 2022, he had eclipsed his accomplishments from the previous season, Verstappen responded: “I don’t think so. These vehicles have also been very unique. “That took a little while to really get used to, as well as the fact that our car was rather overweight at first, which didn’t help the balance of the car in general. But aside from that, no. I’m simply taking it all in now. Last year, I was also relishing the occasion, but now there is no longer any need or pressure to compete for a title everytime the opportunity arises.
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Verstappen remarked that his feat in 2021 to relieve pressure was “always what you wanted to do in the sport, right?” and continued, “Obviously, winning always feels better than losing.” Verstappen responded, “Yeah, but you need the car for that,” when asked about his continuous goal to win numerous more F1 championships. “Of course, I’ve now won two, but if I never have the chance to win again due to my stuff, then I’m fine with that,” he continued. Of course I want to win, but winning also requires a little bit of luck.
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