Verstappen: Important to enjoy current F1 wave of success

Max Verstappen says it is important for him and Red Bull to enjoy their current wave of success in Formula 1 as he nears a second world championship.

Verstappen: Important to enjoy current F1 wave of success

Verstappen scored his fifth consecutive victory last weekend at the Italian Grand Prix, extending his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 116 points over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

It means Verstappen can mathematically clinch his second F1 title at the next race in Singapore should he extend his advantage by a further 17 points.

Verstappen is also closing on the record for the most wins in a single season. He has scored 11 victories so far this year, putting him two shy of the record shared by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher with six races remaining.

Verstappen opened up about the current emotions through the winning streak after his victory at Monza, saying it was “amazing what we are experiencing within the team.”

“We are having an amazing year, and it's important to enjoy it as well,” said Verstappen.

“I think we've had a lot of different challenges on different kinds of tracks and now the car really seems to work at every track. And yeah, we are extremely pleased.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates with his team in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates with his team in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The ease with which Verstappen has swept towards the title in 2022 is in stark contrast to his maiden championship win last year, which was claimed on the last lap after a fraught, season-long fight against Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner previously said there was “not one ounce” of him that wished Ferrari had put up a greater fight, given the pressures of the 2021 title battle. 

Verstappen has started no higher than seventh on the grid in the past three races, but each time as recovered to keep his winning streak going after Red Bull pulled clear of Ferrari’s level of performance.

The Dutchman said the current period of success was similar to his final year in go-karting, but that repeating it in F1 was “very different in terms of feelings.”

“At the time, your goal is Formula 1, so of course you're enjoying what you're achieving, but you also think there's such a long way still left before you get to Formula 1,” said Verstappen.

“So it's a bit of a different wave of excitement and what you feel. But that final year in go-karting was nice too.”

Should Verstappen wrap up the championship in Singapore with five races remaining, it would be the earliest coronation since Michael Schumacher in 2002, who clinched the title with a record six races to go.

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