Prost explains how “great fight with Hamilton” made “this Verstappen” disappear

Four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost has explained how Max Verstappen’s 2021 title duel with Lewis Hamilton has changed him as a driver.
Alain Prost (FRA) Alpine F1 Team Non-Executive
Alain Prost (FRA) Alpine F1 Team Non-Executive

Verstappen and Hamilton went head-to-head in a titanic title battle which went down to the final lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi.

The Red Bull driver ultimately came out on top, securing his maiden world championship.

Since then, Verstappen has enjoyed a dominant run, taking two more titles in 2022 and 2023 with relative ease.

Prost believes since the 2021 finale, Verstappen has “calmed down” and altered his approach.

“No, this Max disappeared after 2021, after that great fight with Hamilton. 

“I won't talk about the controversial final in Abu Dhabi, but I will talk about the way he and his Red Bull came together during the fight with Mercedes all season. That first title made him stronger. Since then he has calmed down, except in his pursuit of perfection,” he wrote in his column for L’Equipe.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull

Prost doubts Verstappen’s domination will stop “anytime soon”.

“It's a bad sign for the competition because it won't stop anytime soon," he added. 

"The next two years without rule changes are not going to change much. And even from 2026 - because he and his team are very talented - they will rise to the challenge and at least compete for the title."

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