No points to prove, people forget my 2021 F1 record

Verstappen will begin his F1 title defense in Bahrain this weekend after winning his first world championship in spectacular fashion at the end of last season.

The Red Bull driver passed Hamilton on a final lap restart that was called after FIA race director Michael Masi failed to implement at least two articles of the sporting regulations.

But Verstappen and Red Bull still maintaining title-winning fashion did nothing to taint its success, having capitalized on the racing situation at stake.

Speaking in Bahrain on Friday, Verstappen dismissed any suggestion he had a point to prove this year because of the way he won the championship, noting his record in F1 last year.

“No, I proved that with the most wins and the most poles, and the most laps led,” Verstappen said.

“People forget that. Apparently they only look at Abu Dhabi, but we have more races than Abu Dhabi in a season.

Verstappen has scored more wins (10), poles (10) and podiums (18) than Hamilton last year, in addition to leading more than twice as many laps (652 to 297).

The Dutchman felt he could take another step this year in terms of performance, although he thought it would be difficult to repeat such a record.

“If you look at last season, even in this season, I think yes, we could have had more wins, and even more poles,” Verstappen said.

“But you need a really competitive car to be able to do that. So it’s going to be really difficult to do something like that again.

“But of course you always try to do better. So hopefully if we have a very competitive car again, we can achieve something similar.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st, lifts his trophy

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

After winning the world championship last December, Verstappen called it “the ultimate achievement” in F1 and said any further success would be a “bonus”. But he made it clear in Bahrain that his motivation in F1 remained as strong as ever.

“The motivation is the same, if not more, again, because you want to keep winning, you just want to be in front, don’t you?” said Verstappen.

“Especially after last year, but you know when as a little kid you always dream, of course, of trying to be a Formula 1 driver, and hopefully one day you win a championship. , but it’s done.

“That kind of pressure of wanting and having to do this is gone. But you still want to win races and everything. So that’s what I’m here for. »

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