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Dutch Grand Prix 2022

Verstappen highlights key difference between 2021 and 2022 seasons

He is set for a second world crown this season, and Max Verstappen believes that 2022 is hugely different from his first title-winning campaign

Verstappen Zandvoort
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To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen believes the intensity is "different" in the 2022 Formula 1 season compared to his first title-winning campaign in '21.

Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton slogged it out for the 2021 world crown, with the on-track action populated by three on-tracks collisions and an increasing public spat between respective team bosses Christian Horner and Toto Wolff.

The Red Bull driver would emerge as champion following Michael Masi rewriting the Safety Car restart rules on the fly in the Abu Dhabi finale to set Verstappen up for a one-lap shootout against a largely defenceless Hamilton.

While Mercedes and Hamilton proved a stern challenger in 2021, they have fallen away in '22 due to being caught out by the rule changes, with Ferrari now Red Bull's most consistent challenger.

And Verstappen admits a change of feeling within the team.

Verstappen highlights difference

"It's the whole team effort and the intensity is different [but it's also a] completely different season," Verstappen explained to media including RacingNews365.com following his 10th victory from 15 races in the Dutch Grand Prix.

"But I don't need to tell anyone in the team [about] the motivation we have, to always try to improve and to win races, even when we win races, we still want to do better.

"Today we'll look at a lot of things that we can do better, but I think that's what you always need to have - that kind of approach, always wanting to do more wanting to do better, because that's how you you stay on top.

"Because if you stand still people at the end will overtake you.

Verstappen on the drivers input

While Verstappen has now won four races on the trot for the first time in his career, and enjoys a 109 point championship advantage, his teammate Sergio Perez has been struggling of late.

He has harvested just about half of Verstappen's points haul in the last four races - 102 vs 50 - and has just one win to the Dutchman's 10.

For all the dominance of the RB18, Verstappen believes the human factor is still crucial.

"A lot of that is down to the team, it's how Lewis also won his championships," responded Verstappen to questions on the dominance of the Milton Keynes squad.

"That's how it goes in Formula 1, but I think when you are an exceptional driver like Lewis, you make the difference over your teammate in crucial races.

"For example, one that stood out to me for him was Turkey [2020] when it was very slippery, and he just stayed calm, didn't make mistakes and ended up winning a race [and his seventh title] like that.

"That's what good drivers do - they make the difference compared to other fast drivers, but not as good.

"The car is very important in Formula 1 but of course between the teammates, only one can win - and that's where you have to make the difference."

Also interesting:

F1 podcast: Could Honda stay with Red Bull beyond 2025?

As Max Verstappen took a dominant win in the Belgian Grand Prix, plenty of attention remains on off-track matters, with Audi confirming their 2026 arrival into F1, and question marks remaining over the involvement of Porsche and Honda.

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Belgium Grand Prix.

F1 2022 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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