Max Verstappen highlighted the critical difference between the 2021 and 2022 F1 seasons, claiming the former was based much more on qualifying sessions than this year. The 2021 F1 cars were unable to follow each other closely, leading to a significant gap between the leaders and the rest of the field.
With that in kind, the 2022 regulations seems to be a success - at least partially. With cars now being able to follow each other more closely, drivers can start further back on the grid and still be able to fight for points. As a result, Max Verstappen claims that teams are more focused on race pace in 2022 as opposed to qualifying.
The Dutchman said in a press conference ahead of the 2022 Dutch GP:
"I think the last few years, the focus was a lot on qualifying, because in some tracks, it was super-hard to follow and the cars just got a bit uncontrollable when you got really close, unless you had a big pace advantage or tyre advantage. Now, at least, you know that even if your qualifying wasn't great, there is a chance that you pass them anyway in the race, if you have good race pace. That's nice."
Max Verstappen could have won 2022 F1 Belgian GP starting from his garage, according to Martin Brundle
According to F1 pundit Martin Brundle, Max Verstappen could have won the 2022 F1 Belgian GP without even leaving the Red Bull garage. Verstappen's stellar form was evident all weekend long, putting in the fastest time of the qualifying session with just one lap.
The 24-year-old was able to win the race from P14, even managing to win by a margin of nearly 18 seconds to his teammate Sergio Perez, who started in P2.
In his column for Sky Sports, Martin Brundle admitted that Max Verstappen could have been reading his bank statements and he would have still won the race. The Briton wrote:
“It’s not [Max] Verstappen’s fault that he finds himself in such peak form, and so at one with his Red Bull car that, frankly, you sense he could have been sitting in the garage reading his bank statements when the race started, and still won it.”
The world champion claims to already be prepared for his home race in Zandvoort, making Ferrari's challenge all the more difficult this weekend. However, with the track likely to suit the Italian team's car more than Red Bull, it's all to play for in Holland this weekend.