Verstappen thought 2022 title hopes were over due to reliability issues

Verstappen thought 2022 title hopes were over due to reliability issues

Max Verstappen believed his chances of winning the 2022 Formula One World Championship were lost after having a lowly start to the season.

Max Verstappen’s title hopes appeared to be fading after suffering two retirements in the first three races of 2022. However, just five races later, the Red Bull driver is back in the first place.

The 2021 World Champion was forced to withdraw from the Bahrain and Australian Grands Prix due to mechanical troubles, and the Dutchman could only watch as Charles Leclerc won both races and moved 46 points ahead of him after three races.

However, after five races, the tables have turned, with Verstappen winning four races and his main rival Leclerc retiring twice, placing Verstappen 21 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez at the top of the standings and another seven points ahead of Leclerc who dropped down to third.

Despite the fact that he now holds a commanding lead, Verstappen admitted that his early-season reliability issues led him to believe his title aspirations were lost.

“Starting the season before we had done any races, you don’t know,” Verstappen told the Talking Bull podcast. “Maybe we have a good car, maybe we don’t.”

“Then it seemed like we had a competitive car, so we can be in the fight for the championship, but then after retiring two times, and I was 46 points down, I was like, ‘This [Championship] is gone, this is not happening,’ or at least it will take a very long time to catch up.”

“And then, basically in three races, as a team we turned it around and both of us are now up there.”

Despite reversing the trend from the first three races of 2022, Verstappen warned that Red Bull could not afford to relax on their wins.

“It’s quite satisfying, but of course we also know it can also change really quickly, so we have to be on our toes,” said Verstappen.

“We have to really focus on not retiring anymore, because already the two we had are too many. It’s been a bit hectic and crazy, the first few races we’ve had so far.”

Leave a Reply