Verstappen: 2022 win “really enjoyable” compared to “emotional” Hamilton fight

Max Verstappen has reflected on his two F1 title triumphs, admitting his 2022 win was “better and more rewarding”.
Verstappen: 2022 win “really enjoyable” compared to “emotional” Hamilton fight

Verstappen dominated the 2022 campaign, winning a record-breaking 15 races, ultimately taking the title with four rounds to go at the Japanese Grand Prix.

It was in stark contrast to 2021, where Verstappen secured his maiden crown on the final lap against Lewis Hamilton in a controversial ending in Abu Dhabi.

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On Friday, Verstappen was officially crowned 2022 F1 drivers’ champion, collecting the trophy at the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala in Bologna.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Verstappen explained the differences between the two seasons.

"The emotions are very different, but I think they should be anyway, because your whole life you aim for one particular goal, and that's to become a world champion for me in F1, so the first one is always an emotional one once you achieve it,” Verstappen said.

"But this year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year, and more enjoyable with how we performed as a whole team. We won the Drivers’, and the Constructors’, we had a lot of victories as a team, so I would say this one is better and more rewarding.”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 performs donuts at the end of the race. Formula 1 World
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 performs donuts at…

Verstappen described his 2021 victory over Hamilton as “more emotional”, elaborating how he has grown as a driver.

"But the first one will always be more emotional,” Verstappen added. “This year has been really, really enjoyable. Last year was the first time I was in a fight to win a title, so that was the first time you get that kind of experience.

"As a driver you learn from every single year, you get more experience and you look at what you can do better. And you know that when you have to fight for a title, you have to score points basically every race, as much as you can.

"That's why, of course, at the beginning of the year it was very tough to have those DNF's, but I knew from that point onwards, I couldn't afford any mistakes from my side in case we would have a retirement for whatever reason. So you always try to be as clean as you can be and try to be as perfect as you can every single weekend. It's what I try to demand from myself every time I jump into the car."

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