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Lewis Hamilton Face-Off Flipped the Switch on Max Verstappen, Extending #1 Status

Lewis Hamilton Face-Off Flipped the Switch on Max Verstappen, Extending #1 Status thumbnail

302 days translates to 9 months and 29 days. But for Red Bull and Max Verstappen 302 days translates to something very different. From having 0 world titles and being subjected to Mercedes’ domination, to having two world titles and being kings of F1.

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Max and Red Bull won the 2021 title right at the end of the season. They couldn’t have left it for later. But this season has been completely opposite – they have wrapped up the title race with 4 races to go.

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Although failings of rivals like Mercedes and Ferrari have provided support, credit where credit is due. It’s been Max’s year all year long. Red Bull produced a car like no other; one that will go down in the team’s history books.

Speaking on the F1 Official Podcast, Red Bull Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan was asked what is different between Max from last year and Max now.

Monaghan said, “I’ve seen a more assured Max with his own performances. Disappointments like Bahrain, Australia, they didn’t derail him. He’ll come to see you and say “this has happened, that’s happened, we’ll sort it out”. You’ll see a calmness to him which wasn’t always there in the past.” 

“And obviously, last year was a tumultuous moment with Lewis [Hamilton] and he fought all the way. This year, you know in adversity, he has demonstrated unbelievable levels of skill and confidence. We’ve been fortunate, if you look at Spain we shouldn’t have won that one but we did. So… I have seen a more mature Max driving better than I have ever seen him drive. He was brilliant last year as well but this year there’s been a calmness and assurance,” he opined.

As Paul says, the mental aspect of F1, or any sport for that matter is crucial in performance. While Max’s driving has been par excellence, his belief in himself has played a big part in achieving success.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen have a legend who provides the edge at crucial points

When you have a driver winning the world title with such overarching domination, it is easy to see the #2 go under the radar. But Sergio Perez has been an equally important driver for Red Bull and Verstappen.

READ:  2022 World Cup: Knockout round schedule, Quarter-finals schedule, and television information

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Checo provided Max title-winning support last year in Abu Dhabi when he slowed Lewis Hamilton down. That brings to memory the enduring “Checo is a legend” praise from Max from the night.

A similar performance from Japan this year helped Max seal the title. Perez fought for P2 with Leclerc all night long, ultimately forcing the Frenchman into making a mistake that cost him the position.

This year’s story might not be as dramatic or romantic, but it was integral nonetheless. His help came in all year round from Australia and Monaco, to Singapore and Japan.

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Watch This Story: Red Bull Clinches $500 Million Title Sponsorship

Checo’s contributions to Red Bull as well as Max have been immense in his short time here. As Red Bull continues its domination, Perez will have bigger goals for next year. His eyes will be on the big prize, now that he has shown his capability.

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