Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed that Max Verstappen has begun stepping up his preparations ahead of the 2022 season, having returned from his winter holidays.
Verstappen took some downtime after his success in the 2021 Drivers' World Championship, but the Dutchman has now resumed training as he gets ready to defend his title.
"Max went off to do family stuff over Christmas and New Year for a break and last week he has bought back into his training, so he's all good," Horner told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview.
"It was a tough season last year, tough for everybody, so [it was] good to get a bit of downtime over Christmas and the New Year to reflect on an amazing year and recharge the batteries a bit.
"Then, in January, he's been ramping it back up and training hard and looking forward to the season ahead."
Verstappen will soon be back in the Red Bull factory
Horner went on to explain that Verstappen is due back in the Red Bull factory over the coming days, and will take part in all his pre-season administration ahead of the car launch and official testing.
"He'll be in the next week or so," Horner confirmed.
"Obviously, this time of year there's a lot of work in the simulator, so it's a lot of work in a virtual world.
"[Then there will be] seat fittings and all that kind of stuff to do, with merchandise and this, that and the other, so from the last week of January things will start to get busy for him."
But Horner said that there's no hangover of title celebrations going into the new season, with full focus now on the upcoming campaign.
"We're totally focused on 2022 now. 2021 is done," Horner emphasised.
"We'll celebrate the fact that we have number 1 on the car, but 2021 is history now. It's all about 2022, so everyone is focused on the shakedown, the first test, the first race and 2022 after that."
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