F1: Verstappen is driving fearlessly toward 2022 title – Coulthard

Max Verstappen is driving fearlessly without any pressure in 2022 now that he is a world champion according to David Coulthard.

Verstappen has been in superb form since 2021 and has continued in the same vein this year. The Dutchman’s season started slow with two DNFs in the first three races. Since then, he has hardly put a foot wrong.

After 13 rounds in 2022, Verstappen has eight wins and has been on the podium at every race he has finished, barring this year’s British GP. The reigning world champion has built up a formidable lead over his main title rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, in the process.

Speaking in an interview with Motorsport‘s Dutch affiliate, Coulthard recalled his conversation with Verstappen right after the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Briton said:

“What really sticks with me is that I had an interview with him immediately the day after Abu Dhabi. His manager Raymond Vermeulen wanted me to do the interview, but I was thinking before that ‘Oh god, this is the day after, how will that go?’ But once inside, there was a kind of striking, almost serene calm. Jos was very calm, and Max [Verstappen] himself was also very calm. He then of course also said, ‘everything that comes next is a bonus’. It is very easy for drivers to say something like that, but I believe that for Max it was sincere. His life goal was achieved, and you can see that in his driving this year.”

“Has he become faster? No, I don’t think so because he was already very fast. Better than in 2021 is almost impossible in that respect. But is he more relaxed and mature? That one hundred percent. If you look at Charles [Leclerc], there is still a certain fear in his driving. That’s perhaps logical too, since Ferrari left points they shouldn’t have left. But Max doesn’t make those few mistakes anymore, and so they do make the difference. Max can even opt for the ‘spinning and winning’ tactic now.”


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