World champion Max Verstappen says he “never could have imagined” the success he would enjoy in 2022 as he was officially awarded the Formula 1 world drivers’ championship trophy for a second time.
“It’s been an incredible year for everyone within the team,” said Verstappen upon receiving the drivers’ championship trophy at the FIA prize giving gala in Bologna.
“It’s been mentioned before, we had a very tough start to the year. I said at one point that I didn’t believe in the title anymore, but then you could really see how the team really stuck together and we managed to turn things around very quickly.
“All the wins we have achieved is something I never could have imagined in my life. After last year, already winning ten, I was like, ‘if I can ever do something like that again, that would be amazing’. And here we are with 17 wins in total, of course for the team winning the constructors as well this year.”
Verstappen says that his second championship carried different emotions for him than his first title in 2021. Asked how it felt to be a double world champions, Verstappen said: “Very different to my first one.”
“I think the first one was very emotional because that’s what you worked all your whole life,” he continued.
“And once you achieve your first one, I think the moments like that you can only compare to your first race win in Formula 1, even your first pole position – even the ones you get afterwards, they are different. They’re nice, but that same emotion you will never experience again. But I do think that this season has been more rewarding. I think also as a team, we were even more competitive.”
Verstappen says he and his Red Bull team made an effort to appreciate the level of success they achieved during the 2022 season and ensure they enjoyed it while they are able to.
“Of course, we always focus on the results and we all want to win, but we also spend a lot of time away from family and friends and it’s very important to also enjoy what you’re doing,” he said.
“I really think that this year, again, working with the whole team, every team member, has been really, really good. And really also tried to reflect throughout the year what you are actually doing as a team. I think from that side this year has been been incredible.”
Image: Red Bull Racing via Twitter
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