After a season in which Max Verstappen toppled a swathe of F1 records on the way to his second drivers’ championship, his father said the Red Bull star is in need of a break.
Jos Verstappen said his double champion son Max is “a bit done with everything” after his longest Formula 1 season yet.
The calendar this year had 22 race weekends for the drivers to take part in between March and November – a new record for the sport. Under original plans there were supposed to be 23, but the Russian Grand Prix was axed in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
It proved to be the most successful season of Verstappen’s career. It yielded his second drivers’ title, and he did it with much less competition than in the first. Lewis Hamilton pushed him all the way in 2021, but this time Ferrari’s challenge faltered and he won 15 of the 22 races to dominate proceedings.
But even after a year in which the 25-year-old enjoyed so much success, his father Jos gave the impression the Red Bull racer is in need of a rest. “He’s just a bit done with everything now,” he told Viaplay. “Especially when you have won the championship, then the pressure is off and it becomes less exciting.”
Speaking about his son’s victory in the Abu Dhabi finale which extended his new record for most victories in a season, he added: “For Max, I think it was just important that he broke that record with those wins. I think that’s the most important thing.”
And a good rest this winter will be important for Verstappen is his father’s prediction about 2023 comes true: “To be honest, I do think it will all be a bit closer next year – that is also the intention of these regulations. I don’t mind. Good battles on track and a good championship until the end would be fantastic.”
MAX Verstappen’s unprecedented success in 2022 also brought significant financial benefits as well as sporting achievements. The bonuses he triggered this year helped him to leapfrog Hamilton to become the F1 driver with the most earnings this season, according to financial experts Forbes.
Of the two, Hamilton has the highest base salary as the Brit to earns an estimated £45.6m per year. But he gets no bonuses on top of that, while Verstappen does – the Red Bull racer’s £33.2m salary is augmented by £16.6m in bonuses earned in 2022, putting him ahead of the Mercedes star in total earnings.
Unsurprisingly, Verstappen and Hamilton are comfortably clear of the rest of the drivers on the grid when it comes to earnings from F1. Fernando Alonso is third on the list but a long way off the top two, having earned a £24.9m base salary with Alpine.