MAX VERSTAPPEN is closing in on his second F1 crown with a commanding 93-point advantage over Sergio Perez.
Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April
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Max Verstappen has revealed winning his second F1 title will not be as good as winning his first against Lewis Hamilton. He said his first crown would be “the most emotional one” despite getting close to sealing title number two.
The Dutchman told RaceFans: “It’s not even necessarily about winning it again. I think it’s just that winning your first is always going to be the most emotional one.” Verstappen compared his first F1 title to his first victory in the sport back in 2016.
The youngster sent shockwaves when he was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull at just 18 years old. He replaced experienced driver Daniil Kvuat after just four races of the season but Red Bull’s gamble was vindicated.
Verstappen took advantage of a crash between the two Mercedes drivers to secure his first F1 win on the same day as his Red Bull debut. Looking back, the reigning champion said his first victory was still better than sealing the title at the end of last season.
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Max Verstappen says his next title will not eclipse beating Lewis Hamilton last season (Image: Getty)
He explained: “The first one is still the most emotional one. Forget Abu Dhabi because that was just crazy, because that then also gives you the first title. But that very first win, compared to all the other wins I’ve had, it doesn’t come close. Because it is something like you dreamt of for such a long time and then it becomes reality.
“First you think ‘oh, if I could ever be on a podium, that would be great’. And then of course, my first podium was the first win. So it was a crazy, crazy day, which I will remember forever.”
David Coulthard noted how Verstappen admitted after winning his first title that any further success was just a “bonus”.
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Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the title last season (Image: Getty)
Coulthard also thinks Verstappen is “more relaxed and mature” since picking up his first title last year. He commented: “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.” Verstappen could clinch his second title as early as the Singapore Grand Prix if his title rivals all fail to score and he secures the next three race wins.
He could also secure the crown at the Japanese Grand Prix if Perez finishes second in every race and Verstappen takes victory in them all.