Max Verstappen improved his performance to a level that team leader Christian Horner doubts any rival can match, even in the same car.
The 25-year-old has won a record-breaking 15 of the 22 Grands Prix this year to become a two-time world champion. Although he faced technical problems that kept him out of the competition for two of the first three races, he was able to win this year’s title in four races.
Horner believes the driver is currently in his room. “I think Max is doing at a level where I’m not sure anyone, the way he’s driving in the same equipment at the moment, he can repeat what he did this year,” he told media including RaceFans. After Verstappen won the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez pipped Charles Leclerc to second in the championship this year. Horner praised the Ferrari driver, who will be Verstappen’s permanent opponent in 2022.
“I have to say congratulations to Charles,” Horner said. “He’s driven really well this year, he’s obviously had a lot of bad luck, and so have our drivers at times. But he was a great driver to race against and always very fair and I think they will definitely come back strong next year.
Sergio Perez won two races and took the first pole position of his career to finish third in the championship, finishing 11 times on the podium. Horner says Perez and Verstappen have taken their performance to new heights in 2022.
“Both our drivers have had their best season in Formula 1,” he said. “Max took another step forward following his championship win 12 months ago and when I started to think he had won 15 Grands Prix and two Sprints, it was only 17 races. It’s incredible.
“I think we broke our own records with 17 Grands Prix at team level, five one-twos, first and third in the Drivers’ Championship, Constructors’ World Championships, 750-odd points in the Constructors’ Championship. Also records of formula 1. Obviously there have been some ups and downs during the season, but overall it’s been an amazing year for the team.
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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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