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Damon Hill

Verstappen becoming a leader makes him 'a target', says F1 legend

Damon Hill believes that not everyone will be pleased that Max Verstappen is winning, and expects that it will bring out a "flip side" in the competition.

Verstappen Japan
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Damon Hill believes Max Verstappen will become "a target" in Formula 1 for 2023, after taking his second consecutive Drivers' Championship.

The Dutchman set the record for the most wins in a season at 15 following his victory in Abu Dhabi, and has been the leader throughout the 2022 campaign in the dominant RB18.

Hill says this constant success will bring out a "flip side" to how the competition reacts.

"Not everybody loves a winner, their expression is or the idea is once you're leading, you're in a happy place," he said on the F1 Nation podcast.

"But there's also this other thing, which is in this business, all these other teams want to bring you down.

"So you become a target, and it can be sometimes baffling why people don't celebrate when you're doing really well, but there is that flip side to being successful."

Hill: Others have tried to find Verstappen's weaknesses

Given his exceptional form in 2022, many competitors have tried to "dig and poke" at Verstappen, according to Hill, who thinks that not everyone will be happy with the fact that the Red Bull driver is winning

He added: "Max has experienced that a little bit this year, they've been trying to take a dig and poke to see if there's any weaknesses here and there and it's been stressful from that point of view.

"You want to be respected for the work you do and the hard work that goes into winning in Formula 1.

"But not everyone's going to be happy you're winning, and that's just a sad fact of life."

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