Max Verstappen is driving fearlessly without any pressure in 2022 now that he is a world champion. That is the biggest difference between him and Charles Leclerc this season, according to David Coulthard.
Verstappen has been in superb form since 2021 and has continued in the same vein this year. The Dutchman’s season started slow with two DNFs in the first three races. Since then, he has hardly put a foot wrong and has been fortunate even when the odd mistake has crept up.
After 13 rounds in 2022, Verstappen has eight wins and has been on the podium at every race he has finished barring this year’s British GP. The reigning world champion has built up a formidable lead over his main title rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, in the process.
Coulthard feels Max Verstappen has been able to find a new gear to operate on this season because he has already achieved his goal in F1.
Speaking in an interview with Motorsport‘s Dutch affiliate, Coulthard recalled his conversation with Verstappen right after the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi. The Briton said:
Coulthard believes that Max Verstappen is fearless behind the wheel, something Charles Leclerc is not. He went on to add:
Max Verstappen is a machine that will be difficult to stop in the 2022 F1 season, according to former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
With nine races left in the year, Villeneuve feels the Red Bull driver is on course to successfully defend his world title and no one on track can deny the Dutchman.
In his column for Dutch publication Formule1.NL after the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP, which Max Verstappen won despite starting from P10 and spinning his car during the race, the Canadian wrote:
Verstappen could now be on track to set a new record for most wins in a single season if he continues driving at this level. Sebastian Vettel holds the current record with 13 wins in 2013, en route to his fourth world championship with Red Bull.
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