In the round-up: Max Verstappen says his statistics from 2021 show that he deserved the world championship regardless of the controversial conclusion to the season in Abu Dhabi.
My 2021 achievements prove I deserved title – Verstappen
Asked if he had a point to prove heading into his title defence in 2022, Verstappen said his achievements last year showed he was a worthy champion.
“I proved that with the most wins, the most poles, the most laps led,” he said. “People forget that. They only look at Abu Dhabi apparently but we have more races than only Abu Dhabi in a season.”
Verstappen took 10 grand prix pole positions to title rival Lewis Hamilton‘s five, led 652 laps to Hamilton’s 297 and won 10 races to Hamilton’s eight – a potential tie in the latter was broken when Verstappen took the lead on the final lap in Abu Dhabi.
Repeating the success Red Bull enjoyed last year will be difficult, Verstappen added. “If you look at last season, even during that season, I think we could have had more wins and more poles even. But you need a really competitive car to able to do that.
“So it’s going to be really difficult to do something like that again. Of course you always try and do better. So I hope if we have a very competitive car again that we can reach something similar.”
Stroll and Tsunoda reprimanded
Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda picked up the first reprimands of the new season, both for impeding rivals. Tsunoda was found to have got in Charles Leclerc’s way, while Stroll was deemed to have impeded Tsunoda.
According to the stewards Tsunoda defended his driving saying he “was pushing on an out lap for a long, high-fuel run.
“However, the stewards consider that a driver on an out-lap must always be aware of faster cars approaching and although this did not create a dangerous situation they determine that this is a breach.”
Stroll was reprimanded for holding up Tsunoda after the chequered flag had been shown at the end of the session.
“After both cars had taken the chequered flag at the end of the session, car 18 [Stroll] turned into turn eight whilst car 22 [Tsunoda] was approaching quickly to the inside, unnecessarily impeding car 22 and causing minor contact.
“Driver 18 says he was travelling slowly in preparation for a practice start and was looking in his mirrors but the closing speed from cars behind travelling much more quickly meant he did not see
car 22 when approaching turn eight.
“The stewards acknowledge this, and note that the team did not give the driver any radio warning of approaching cars, but consider that the driver has responsibility for maintaining awareness of cars around them and that this applies equally on the lap after the chequered flag.”
Magnussen expects “great things” ahead for Schumacher
Kevin Magnussen says new team mate Mick Schumacher has made a strong impression on him during their short time together at Haas.
Magnussen was brought in to replace Nikita Mazepin for the 2022 and will race alongside Schumacher as he enters his second season in Formula 1.
“I’ve been very impressed,” Magnussen said of his team mate. “Mick’s someone who won everything on his way to Formula 1. He’s fully deserving of being where he is. I think we’re going to see great things from him in the future.
“He’s a young guy, super hungry. He’s working incredibly hard. Intelligent. So I think he’s got a bright future.”
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