Max Verstappen receives special gift from Honda for back-to-back F1 titles

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
Max Verstappen poses following the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 [Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images]

2022 Formula 1 Drivers' Champion Max Verstappen was gifted a Honda NSX Type S for the stellar performance he put in for the 2022 F1 season and the consistency he has shown to the team.

After the season wrapped up in Abu Dhabi, the Japanese brand hosted the 'Honda Racing Thanks Day' on Sunday to honor and celebrate the team's success across all motorsports, including F1 and MotoGP.

The event featured all four F1 drivers associated with Honda from Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri - Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly, and Yuki Tsunoda. It also hosted MotoGP's Marc Marquez, who was spotted chatting with Perez and Yuki about the sport.

'Thanks Day' also saw drivers take part in a karting race the morning before the featured demonstration runs of the Formula 1 cars. The 2022 champion used the special Honda-themed Red Bull RB16B in 2021 for a show run while the Alpha Tauri duo was in the AT01.

Honda chairman Seiji Kuraishi and Honda Racing president Koji Watanabe presented the Dutchman with a brand new NSX Type S in gray for his successful title defense after winning his maiden title in 2021, beating the 7-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

In front of an adoring crowd of tens of thousands of fans in the stands, the Honda chief expressed his immense appreciation for the double title run with the Honda-powered Red Bull.

Max Verstappen was visibly delighted with the gesture and thanked the Japanese team and fans for their support:

"What an incredible gift, what a great car. I am very proud to get this one, so thank you very much for that."

Max Verstappen zooms past Hamilton to become the highest-paid driver on the F1 grid

Max Verstappen, after beating the 7-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton on track to win last season's Formula 1 Drivers' Championship in a thrilling finale, has now surpassed the Brit once more to become the highest-paid driver on the 2022 F1 Grid.

According to Forbes' estimates, Verstappen will be the highest-paid F1 driver in 2022, with his combined salary and bonuses before tax making him around $60 million. Hamilton, who has been the series' highest-earning driver in the Forbes Athlete Rankings every year since 2013, slipped to second place with an estimated $55 million.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso was the last driver to finish ahead of Hamilton on the results leaderboard, placing him in third place this year with an estimated earnings of $30 million. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez ($26 million) and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ($23 million) round out the list. All told, Formula 1's top 10 highest-paid drivers earn an estimated $264 million.

Endorsement income is excluded from this ranking because F1 has few marketing opportunities compared to tennis or the NBA. Most drivers pay little attention to the business other than what they have to show to their teams and team sponsors. Having said that, drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc are often seen collaborating with international brands.

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Edited by Virat Deswal