'Wouldn't Have Ever Imagined' - Verstappen on Record-Breaking F1 Year

'Wouldn't Have Ever Imagined' - Verstappen on Record-Breaking F1 Year
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing during second practice at the 2022 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix on 8th April 2022 — Photo by filedimage

Max Verstappen has signed off on his championship-winning 2022 Formula 1 season with his 15th race win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix amid a long list of records.

Verstappen’s 15 Grands Prix wins is the most ever in a single season, exceeding the previous mark held by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013) of 13.

The Dutchman also accrued the most ever points in a single season, reaching 454 across 22 races, surpassing Lewis Hamilton’s previous mark of 413 from 2019.

That all comes after Verstappen had retired in two of the first three races, before winning nine of the final 11.

“Its been a great team effort, especially after our tough start to the year,” Verstappen said.

“To turn it around like that I wouldn’t have ever imagined, I think nobody in the team, but its been really enjoyable to be part of the team.

“We have a lot of fun of course we focus on the performance, but you also really need to enjoy the moment, appreciate the moment, and I think we did that.

“You also need to focus on next year where you always say you try to do better; I know its hard to do a lot better than this, but you should always try to aim for that.”

Verstappen won the drivers’ championship with four races to go, concluding the season with a 146-point lead at the top from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who edged Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for second in Abu Dhabi to take second overall by three points.

Leclerc got the edge on Perez with a one-stop strategy, finishing just over a second ahead of the Mexican.

“I knew that the only possibility for us to beat Checo was with a different strategy and playing with tyre management, which we did really well today, and we managed to make the one stop work, so really happy,” Leclerc said.

Leclerc and Ferrari’s second place in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships was “a step forward” for the team, having been well adrift in third overall in 2021, with the Monegasque coming seventh.

“I really hope next year we can do a step forward in order to fight for the championship,” he said. “But, considering where we were last year, its a really big step forward.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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