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Massa 'very impressed' by change in Verstappen over 2022

Felipe Massa believes that Max Verstappen has further improved his performances compared to last season, and is the firm favourite for the 2022 drivers' title.

Felipe Massa has praised the evolution of Max Verstappen's performances from his title-winning 2021 campaign. The reigning World Champion currently holds an 80-point lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship after taking victory at the Hungarian GP. The Red Bull driver's efforts were made more impressive by starting from tenth place on the grid. Ex-Sauber, Ferrari and Williams driver Massa commented in an interview that he believed Verstappen was driving at a higher level than his championship-winning season. "[I've been] very impressed," Massa told Sky Sports . "I was already very impressed last year, but last year he had some races where he had some battles with Lewis and made some mistakes here and there... But this year he is just doing a great job." "If you compare the last few qualifications, he is a second faster than Perez. Max is just showing... There is no other driver who does a better job than what he shows."

Cooperation between Red Bull and Verstappen is 'perfect'

Verstappen's championship lead has, in part, been aided by recent misfortunes for Ferrari and Charles Leclerc. In the last ten races, Leclerc has taken only one win, and been blighted by mechanical dramas, grid penalties, mistakes and adverse strategy decisions. Despite Ferrari's struggles, Massa was keen to also highlight the success of Red Bull's car performance and team organisation. "The team is executing these great strategies by working with him. So everything is just going perfectly between the team and Verstappen to win the second title," added Massa. "The team also deserves it as they have a hugely competitive car. Faster, but also in the race it is the best car in terms of tyre management."

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