Max Verstappen explains the 'different emotions' of the 2021 and 2022 titles, and hints at an early retirement from Formula One.
Max Verstappen has spoken out about the "very different emotions" of his two Formula One titles, admitting that his 2022 triumph was more "enjoyable" than his fierce battle with Lewis Hamilton.
In contrast to 2021, when the championship came down to the final lap of the final race, which Verstappen controversially won, the Dutchman has stormed clear and wrapped up his title with four rounds to spare this year.
"And this year has just been very, very different in terms of emotions from the beginning to the end."
Verstappen and Hamilton were tied on points heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, and Hamilton was leading until the final lap, when Verstappen pounced on fresh tyres in a contentious one-lap battle.
"Both are stunning," Verstappen said. "At the end of the day, both are enjoyable to experience because it's also enjoyable to be under pressure and have to perform to your absolute best on every single lap of the race."
"But not for too many years in a row," she says, "so I was very pleased with the year we had this time."
Verstappen elaborated on the distinctions: "Last year, it was all about qualifying, and that's how you'd normally win a race.
"Even with some engine penalties, it was returning to the front; it's been a really enjoyable year. And, of course, a very special year that I believe will be difficult to match in the future.
"That's why I believe we need to appreciate and enjoy it more."
Could Verstappen leave Formula One early?
Meanwhile, Verstappen has stated that he will not be racing in F1 for as long as some of his peers.
While Fernando Alonso, 41, and Lewis Hamilton, 37, continue to dominate the sport, Verstappen has told F1 that he does not see himself staying in the sport for as long, hinting that he will consider his next move after his Red Bull contract expires.
Verstappen's current contract expires at the end of 2028, at the age of 31.
"I don't think I'll drive until I'm 40 because I want to do other things," Verstappen said.
"I'm having a lot of fun right now, and I'm still in F1 for a couple of years... I'm signed until '28."
"After that, it depends on how everything goes, but I'll probably try a few different types of racing because it's important to try new things."
"I really enjoy being part of this team for a long time and hopefully for a long time to come," Verstappen added.
The drivers' championship may be over, but we still have four exciting races left in the season, beginning with the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on October 21-23. All the action is live on All Sports F1.