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Verstappen felt he “could not afford any mistakes” after early unreliability · RaceFans

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen says he felt he “could not afford any mistakes” to have an opportunity of defending his title after the opening races of 2022 because of Red Bull’s unreliability.

Speaking at a press convention forward of this night’s FIA prizegiving gala, the place he’ll formally obtain the world drivers’ championship trophy for the second time, Verstappen admitted his two mechanical retirements over the primary three rounds of the left him feeling he had no margin for error over the remainder of the season.

“I think you know that when you have to fight for a title, you have to score points, basically every race as much as you can,” Verstappen defined. “That’s why, of course, at the beginning of the year it was very tough to have these DNFs.

“I knew from that point onwards I could not afford any mistake from my side, in case we would have a retirement for whatever reason. So you always tried to be as clean as you can be and try to be as perfect as you can every single weekend. And that’s what I tried to demand for myself every time I jump into the car.”

Red Bull improved the reliability of their automobile over the season and Verstappen didn’t undergo one other mechanical-related retirement for the rest of the 12 months. He scored a file 15 wins and comfortably retained his world championship. Verstappen described how the sensation of defending his title in comparison with taking his first title final 12 months.

“The emotions are very different, but I think they should be different,” he mentioned. “Your whole life you aim for one particular goal and that’s become a world champion in Formula 1. The first one is always very emotional one once you achieve it.

“But this year has been very different. I do think we were more competitive this year and also I think more enjoyable with the way we were performing as a whole team. We won the drivers and the constructors. We had a lot of victories as a team.

“So I would say this one is better and more rewarding, but the first one will always be more emotional.”

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