Romain Grosjean believes that Max Verstappen achieved 99 per cent perfection in the 2022 F1 season, with the Frenchman discounting one per cent due to the team orders dispute at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Grosjean – who has raced in IndyCar following his exit from Formula 1 at the end of 2020 – was left impressed by Verstappen's performance en route to his second World Championship.
However, he did not agree with the Dutchman's decision to refuse an order to let Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez by on the final lap of the race at Interlagos.
"I honestly think it's one of the best [individual seasons] I've seen in Formula 1," Grosjean told the Motor Sport Magazine podcast of Verstappen's year.
"It’s 99 per cent perfect, [with the] one per cent being Brazil. I think that was the wrong call and the wrong message.
"Apart from that, there’s nothing you can say [to fault it]. He was there in qualifying, he was there in the race.
"When you start [going on a] positive spiral, you get everything right and nothing can stop you. [Apart from Brazil], honestly, I don't think you can do much better."
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Grosjean: Verstappen on another level
Grosjean was asked about two of Verstappen's particularly standout performances in 2022 at the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix.
The Red Bull driver claimed victory at the Hungaroring despite suffering a spin, while his win at Spa came after working his way through the field from 14th on the grid.
In terms of how competitors can beat a driver like Verstappen on these occasions, Grosjean laughed: "You don't [beat him]! [It's] as simple as that.
"Those two races, [he] was just stronger than anyone else. In those races, it’s not hard to be one of the competitors, because you’re just like, 'Well, it is another level'."
Grosjean believes that it is more challenging for a teammate like Perez in such a scenario.
"It's hard to be a teammate, because when you see that happening and you don't [match] it, it hurts a lot," he explained.
"But for the rest of us, [you accept they're] on a different league."
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