Max Verstappen is facing a potential one race ban if his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton continues into the 2022 season.
A ban from racing will be a significant concern for the newly crowned F1 driver, Max Verstappen in 2022.
In F1, a driver can only accumulate a maximum of 12 points within a year before disciplinary action is taken, and Verstappen has racked up seven points, the first of which has not expired yet since 2021.
After a series of flashpoints with Lewis Hamilton tussling for the title in 2021, the Dutchman will need to be spotless during the first 16 races of the 2022 season.
The first controversial incident between the two happened at the British Grand Prix in July, with Verstappen being taken to hospital as a result of a collision between the two.
The blame was placed on Hamilton on that day, and he was assessed a 10-second penalty, but he recovered well enough to take the chequered flag.
On the other hand, at the Italian Grand Prix in September, Verstappen took the blame after the pair came together at Turn 2. The 24-year-old’s Red Bull ended up on top of the Mercedes, with Hamilton’s protective halo saving him from suffering a potentially catastrophic injury.
As a result, Verstappen was penalized three places on the grid for the race in Russia and two points were docked to his previously clean licence.
At the Qatar Grand Prix, he picked up two more points for failing to respect double-waved yellow flags during qualifying, followed by three more points at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The two incidents occurred while he was in a duel for the lead with Hamilton, firstly for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage, and then by braking at a point in time which caused a collision between the two drivers later in the race.
The newly crowned champion has just five points to play with entering the new season, so if he collects five more he faces a one-race suspension.