Verstappen: I have achieved everything in F1 now
By Mat Coch
Friday 17th December, 2021 - 11:36am
Victory in the 2021 world drivers’ championship has left Max Verstappen happy that he’s achieved everything he set out to in Formula 1.
The Dutchman won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton in controversial circumstances last weekend, in doing so clinching a maiden title.
Having said previously that one world title would be enough, it’s a comment the Red Bull driver stands by.
“Of course I will continue driving but in terms of achievements, I have achieved everything in Formula 1 now,” he said.
“So, everything that comes next is just a bonus.”
Verstappen’s title success ended a seven-year run of drivers’ championships for Mercedes, six of those going the way of Hamilton.
However, the 24-year-old claimed besting the seven-time champion didn’t bring any additional satisfaction.
“I have a lot of respect for Lewis,” he began.
“But, you know, I’m just very happy that I won in general because it’s been a very tough season fighting against Mercedes and Lewis.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant or whatever to say it’s a great satisfaction to win against him,” he added.
“I just have a lot of respect for him as a driver, and I know he’s an amazing driver in terms of what he has achieved, but I’m just very happy that we won it.”
Verstappen’s success comes in a season filled with intrigue and on-track incident, drawing comparisons to the height of the feud that developed between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the late 1980s.
The pair clashed on track on multiple occasions, their tangle at the British Grand Prix proving something of a turning point for the tone of the season.
“I think in general, the quality has been very high, set by myself and Lewis,” Verstappen said in reflection of the 2021 season.
“We have been pushing each other to the limit every single time.
“There have been quite some tough races, just physically also, because you were just pushing flat out all the time, there was no lap to rest.
“Throughout the whole weekend, qualifying, race, it was so important to always try and be perfect, which is very hard, in Formula 1.
“There’s always some little tiny lockup [that] can make a difference between P1 and P2, and in the championship battle we had that was massive, so the level of focus required was very high.”
Verstappen ended the year with 10 grands prix wins, eight second places, and 10 pole positions, taking the title by six points over Hamilton after 22 races.
Overnight, the Dutchman collected the world championship trophy at the FIA prize giving ceremony, an event boycotted by both Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.