Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton enjoyed an intense rivalry as they battled for the 2021 Formula 1 world title. At times, the rivalry spilled over and resulted in both the drivers colliding. As the season progressed the teams got involved, with Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner throwing verbal jibes at each other.
The rivalry came to a boil in the final race when Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap to claim his maiden world title and the latter accused the race officials of manipulating the result. While Red Bull celebrated, Mercedes were incensed and were launching appeals as the high intensity drama went on late into the night after the final race.
Verstappen, during a recent interview, admitted that he has no interest in a repeat when the 2022 season gets underway. The 2021 world champion says it’s not good for him mentally, and neither is it suited to both teams that are battling each other in the long-term.
“You can’t have that drama every single year, for sure. It’s not good for me, it’s not healthy for anyone in the team, both teams,” Verstappen told the Guardian.
Meanwhile, Verstappen accepts that luck did play a part in him winning the 2021 title when it looked like Hamilton was cruising to a record-breaking eighth world title. However, the Red Bull driver has no doubt that he deserved the championship win after dominating for almost the entire campaign with 11 wins and 17 podium finishes.
“Not at all. I had a very good season and I think I really deserved it. I have been really unlucky as well. People always remember the last race but, if you look at the whole season, the championship should have been decided way earlier.”
Red Bull will launch their challenger for the 2022 season on Wednesday at their Milton Keynes base, while Mercedes’ W13 will be unveiled on Feb. 18, just three days before the first official shakedown at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.