Honda announced almost a year ago that it would leave Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 F1 season. The Japanese constructor had been active at the highest level since 2015. After a difficult period at McLaren, the parties decided to part ways, Red Bull, which was in an engine trouble due to the struggles with Renault, then joined forces with Honda. In the third and final year of the collaboration, the group won the world title with Red Bull and Verstappen.
Asked how that world title arrived at Honda, Max Verstappen says: “The emotion was visible in everyone and it is again proof that you should never give up and always keep pushing.” De Limburger, who won the first world title in eight years for Red Bull Racing, continues: “Of course they have had difficult situations in the past, but everyone in the team has told them that we could do this together. They just had to believe in it and luckily they did. Of course there was a significant investment behind that, but that is normal in Formula 1. That is just part of the job. That we won the championship together in the last race they were part of the team was fantastic with all the emotions that came with it.”
Verstappen decided the title fight in his favor after an intense battle with Lewis Hamilton. In the end it came down to the last round of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Verstappen managed to beat his British opponent after a late safety car from a beaten position. The rivalry between the two brought out the best in not only the drivers, but also the teams. “Not only did we push ourselves to another level, the whole team went to another level that they thought was not possible. It was a very intense duel for everyone. Fighting every race and having to be perfect every race with the strategy, the preparation, the avoidance of any mechanical problems, and all that sort of thing made it very stressful for everyone involved.”
The constructors’ title, on the other hand, fell to Mercedes. Verstappen judges that the German car manufacturer had the faster car during the season.