Max Verstappen wins the 2022 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Max Verstappen won his maiden title in 2021
F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Max Verstappen won his maiden title in 2021

Max Verstappen has won the 2022 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award for his epic maiden F1 title win in 2021. The Dutchman had a stellar season last year, claiming 10 pole positions and 10 victories, and even set a record of 18 podiums in a season – the highest of anyone.

The prestigious accolade has previously been held by international stars such as Lionel Messi in football, Roger Federer in tennis, and even F1's Lewis Hamilton – who Verstappen won against on the final lap of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Expressing his appreciation for being named Sportsman of the Year, the Dutchman said:

“I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation. I’m incredibly proud. Since I was a little kid I dreamt of being on the top step and winning the championship. I said to my dad, ‘We did it, this is what we worked for all these years and now we are here, the two of us, all the memories, all the years of travelling all over Europe, going for that one goal and we achieved it.”

The Red Bull driver is the only Dutchman to win a title in the sport.

Max Verstappen picked up a Grand Slam at the 2022 Imola GP

Max Verstappen won the 2022 F1 Imola GP main race after a dominating performance at the historic track. The Dutchman started in pole position after winning the sprint race on Saturday, picking up his first Grand Slam of the season. His teammate Sergio Perez drove an excellent race to finish P2, marking Red Bull's first 1-2 finish since Malaysia 2016.

The Austrian team was the benchmark all weekend long, with the 24-year-old displaying his wet-weather-driving prowess in the intermittent conditions around Imola. The Dutchman won Saturday's sprint race despite a poor start, regaining the lead in the closing stages of the race.

Speaking about the weekend, Max Verstappen said:

“Yesterday and the day before, we were on it and it was looking like a strong weekend. Today you never know with the weather and how competitive you’re gonna be. As a team, we did everything well and I think and this 1-2 was very well deserved.”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, however, still holds a considerable lead over Verstappen heading to the Miami Grand Prix next weekend. After his win at Imola, the world champion is slowly but surely climbing back to the top of the table with hopes of winning another title.

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Edited by Anurag C