Verstappen is the 34th driver to win the world championship and will bring the No.1 back to the Formula 1 grid for the first time since fellow Red Bull champion Sebastian Vettel’s final title defense in 2014.
The Dutchman claims being champion doesn’t make any difference, he won’t change. It fits his public persona — he wouldn’t admit to the adjustments he made after some major mistakes in early 2018 — but, as Alex Kalinauckas shows in our cover story, that can’t be the case.
Verstappen’s rapid rise marked him as a future star as soon as he started competing. Marcus Simmons speaks to some of those who worked with the youngster in his early days to find out what really caught their attention.
Honda played a key role in Verstappen’s successful title tilt, which is no small feat given the disastrous time he had with McLaren before joining the Red Bull fold. Team boss Christian Horner was one of those who told Adam Cooper why Red Bull was confident about the change and how Honda was able to redeem themselves in such impressive fashion.
One of the weaknesses of Red Bull’s game in 2021 was Sergio Perez’s struggles to get the most out of the RB16B. We investigate the best number two drivers in F1 history – perhaps the least popular significant job in motorsport.
David Malsher-Lopez also speaks to Australian Supercars champion turned IndyCar ace Scott McLaughlin after driver Penske’s season opener win, while Charles Bradley hears Britons Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat talk about their Lexus challenge in IMSA.
There’s all the usual international and domestic news, led by motorsport’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Stefan Mackley takes a look at the series aimed at junior drivers in the UK.
And another of these 34 world champions, Damon Hill, chooses his favorite race car…
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