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Max looks back on 2021: 'Special moments I will never forget'

Published on 19 December 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster

After celebrating the winning of the Formula 1 World Championship, Max looks back on an eventful season with commentator Olav Mol in Abu Dhabi. During the year-end-interview on Ziggo Sport, the two go over all the best and most exciting moments of the year. The final Grand Prix on the Yas Marina Circuit will not be missed of course.

Max has not been able to see much of the race: “Not really. I did not have much time to even look on my phone. It has been so hectic the last couple of hours, it was crazy.” After looking back on and analysing of the key moments in the race, we see the moment Verstappen stepped out of the car, celebrating winning of the World Championship with loud cheers. When he sees the one-on-one moment with his dad Max gets tears in his eyes: “Those are special moments I will never forget during my life.”

The Red Bull Racing driver was also able to enjoy despite the intense title battle: “Last year there were races after which I was not tyred at all, it felt like I had been touring. The Mercedes were too fast and I was just driving round. This year every race was full throttle, from the first lap to the end of the race. Without any tyre management, we just could not do that. A race is a lot harder that way.”

Sergio Pérez is the third teammate of Verstappen in three years’ time. The Dutchman is full of praise for him: “Super, I had no idea he would be so good. I knew him as a driver in Formula 1, but now we spend a lot more time together, you notice what a good guy he is.” Even though the Mexican was not able to fight for the championship, Max does not want to speak of a first and second driver: “I do not like to say it that way, as we both have equal opportunities. You make your own luck, but I do not want to be favoured. I do not need that, and it is not good for the team. Of course, I am World Champion, but I will have to start from the beginning again next year.”

Max also comments on the partnership with his engineer, GianPiero Lambiase: “I have told him that I will only work with him. If he stops, I will also stop. It is unbelievable how we work together. Sometimes he can be strict towards me, but that is what I want. He should be able to tell me when I behave like a jerk, and I will do that to him too. That is what I have always told him, and he can tell me over the radio. Lately it has been going very well, as sometimes I have been trying to be engineer and he tried to be driver. Helmut also likes how we communicate.”

Next season there is a huge change in regulations. What are the new cars like, and are you looking forward to the changes? “Yes, of course I have only been driving the new car in the simulator. The cars are a lot slower, but I hope racing will be better and it will be easier to attack. Then it will not really matter if you are three or four seconds slower. I hope more of the teams will be closer together, that will be much better for Formula 1 in general.”

But first some well-deserved holiday: “A bit of a break, it has been a long season. And then we will start all over again”, concludes the new World Champion.