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Max during FIA Champions Press Conference: 'Amazing to work with Honda'

Published on 16 December 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster

Ahead of the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Paris all the FIA champions were interviewed. Max was also present. It is four days after his historic victory in Abu Dhabi. When asked how good it sounds when he hears: Max Verstappen World Champion, Max answers: “It sounds really good, but for me it is more the journey towards this championship. Now we have achieved this, you start to think of all the hours and the years leading up to it. That was for me more emotional than hearing world champion. It is amazing that we achieved this. It has been a very long and tough season.”

And it has been quite a long and tough week, tell us what you have done since winning the championship? Max: “I had one drink on Sunday night, one too many probably. When I woke up in the afternoon on Monday, I thought I had a free day. But then I realised that I actually did not have a free day. I had a massive headache. It has been good, and I have been really enjoying it, but I really need a break.”

You were with the team in the UK yesterday, how was it being back with the guys and girls who helped you get where you are? Max: “It was our goal since I joined the team. And when you finally pull it off, it was really nice to see all the happy faces in the factory. I tried to enjoy the moment, because how many times will you have a moment like that?”

Max continues: “It feels like family. You hear me say on the radio during the in lap that I want to stay for another ten or fifteen years. I am very happy where I am. And also I can be myself, that is also really important and it is also not purely Formula 1:  we can have fun and laugh. It is not only about performance, you also need to enjoy what you are doing.”

After the podium ceremony we saw the Honda people crying and hugging each other. How is your relationship with Honda? Max: “The relationship with Honda has been amazing, knowing where they came from. Starting with us, we really believed in the project. We wanted to succeed together and be successful. We were very emotional when we had over first win together, and it only got better from there, because they never gave up, they always kept pushing and believing they could do it. Over time you could really see that progress. It is very impressive that they had an engine design for 2022 and brought it one year forward. It really helped us forward. If we did not have that engine, we would not be sitting here today. Everyone at Honda is very passionate and emotional, I can fully understand that after the race they were hugging each other and crying. As they were already crying at our first race win. It has been really amazing to be able to work with them.”