The 2022 competition came to an early conclusion for Max Verstappen thanks to his second-half dominance run, which allowed him to win his second drivers’ championship at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s second championship was in stark contrast to his first title triumph in 2021, which was decided in a thrilling race that finished in Abu Dhabi and was marred by controversy over the FIA’s handling of a late-race safety car restart.
After the outcome of his title fight with Lewis Hamilton in 2021, Verstappen publicly declared that he could not handle the pressure of such intense competition all the time.
“You can’t have that drama every single year, for sure. It’s not good for me, it’s not healthy for anyone in the team – both teams,” said Verstappen when speaking to The Guardian.
Verstappen is aware that the demands placed on drivers are likely to increase as F1 prepares for a potential 24-race schedule in 2023.
Verstappen responded that he wasn’t worried about the intricacies of a greater task or that he needed to be prepared for more difficult challenges when asked if he was prepared for what might be around the corner.
“If you’re not prepared, then it’s better to stop already, right?” he said “I mean, I think we’re all racers and we love racing.
“Of course, it’s just that it’s nice to have a season like I had last year but it’s also nice to have a season like I have this year. It just would be very tough if you have that every single year you know, the year I had last year.
“But that also doesn’t really happen in Formula 1, so it should be okay.”
The closest competitor of Verstappen in the just-ended campaign, Charles Leclerc, agreed that being prepared for future seasons that will be bigger and more challenging was the only option.
“I think we are all prepared for longer seasons,” he said. “I hope it will be tight. It’s always nice to have a fight until the end. But yeah, I’m prepared for more races and for a longer fight hopefully.”