Verstappen likens F1 run to karting success
By Mat Coch
Sunday 25th September, 2022 - 3:00pm
Max Verstappen has likened his current purple patch in Formula 1 to a spell he enjoyed while karting at the start of his career.
The Dutchman has won the last five grands prix and could mathematically seal his second world championship in Singapore next weekend.
However, it’s been the manner in which he’s claimed victory of late which have set his performances aside.
At the Italian Grand Prix, he charged back from seventh to win the race from Charles Leclerc in a commanding performance.
That followed an even more impressive drive in Belgium when he stormed through the field in the opening laps after starting 14th due to penalties.
On that occasion, he headed a Red Bull one-two as Ferrari’s challenge wilted.
“Of course, it’s amazing what we are experiencing within the team,” Verstappen said.
“I think we are having an amazing year, and it’s important to enjoy it as well.
“We’ve had a lot of different challenges, of different kinds of tracks, and now the car really seems to work at every track.
“We are very pleased.”
With the exception of the British Grand Prix, when he struck debris that compromised his car and saw him finish only seventh, Verstappen has fared no worse than third in every race he’s seen the flag in 2023.
He was officially classified 19th in Bahrain, though was not running when the chequered flag fell. Since then, he’s claimed 11 wins in 15 starts.
It’s a run of success he likened to his early career.
“My final year in karting. It’s very different in terms of feelings,” he said.
“At the time, your goal is Formula 1 so you’re of course enjoying what you’re achieving, but you also think there’s such a long way still left before you get to Formula 1.
“So it’s a bit of a different way of excitement, and what you feel, but that final year of go-karting was nice, too.”
Verstappen holds a 116-point advantage over Leclerc in the drivers’ championship with six rounds remaining this season.