Max Verstappen has made the whole of the Netherlands proud by winning his first Formula 1 world title. In the very last round of the 2021 Formula 1 season, he outwitted Lewis Hamilton for the title. At NOS Studio Sport, Jan Lammers looks back on last season together with presenter Jeroen Stomphorst. They are also looking a little bit ahead at 2022. Because the big question is, of course, whether this championship means the changing of the guard.
Verstappen has had an unprecedentedly strong Formula 1 season with no less than ten victories to his name. However, the Dutchman also had a lot to do with bad luck. For example, he also has three zero scores – in Great Britain, Italy and Azerbaijan – and a P9 – in Hungary – to his name. Lammers is aware that the Red Bull driver could have just lost the title because of those races. He also shares with which races Verstappen did win the championship.
“I think with races like Mexico, where you really go for the first corner and where he (Verstappen, ed.) really pulls it,” says Lammers. And don’t forget the sprint race at Silverstone. What went right on Saturday, went wrong on Sunday. But it’s often the case that you win a championship with your bad races. Because if you look at Max’s bad races, they were all zero results. He almost lost the championship with that, those were good races for Hamilton.’
2021 Championship Could Be Changing of the Guard
Then the big question for the future is: is this the changing of the guard? According to the former Formula 1 driver, that could just be possible. ‘You must not forget that (next year, ed.) people have to start working on new regulations. The downward pressure will come more from the car and less from the wings. As a result, you can follow more easily and expect a better race pace. DRS will no longer be there after a few races, which I also think is a distortion of competition.’ It will look more like a level playing field in 2022.
Such a level playing field could well be an advantage for Verstappen, according to Lammers. “I think he is the best rider in terms of skill,” he says. We cannot write off Hamilton immediately either. “I also think this is an opportunity for someone like Hamilton. He will really enjoy it, because of course he wants to get rid of that nagging that Mercedes has the best car. So everyone is armed and motivated to the teeth.’