F1 bosses crown Max Verstappen as driver of the year

Hamilton spills more on his F1 future as he makes "no limit" claim

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Formula One team principals have voted Max Verstappen as their driver of the year after the Red Bull man cruised to the driver’s title in 2022. The Dutchman led from Ferrari star Charles Leclerc in second with George Russell earning the bragging points at Mercedes by pipping Lewis Hamilton to third. 

Verstappen successfully defended the title he won in 2021 in style in style, setting the record for the number of races won in a single season with 15. He also set the benchmark for the number of points won over the course of the year with the championship sewn up with four Grand Prix still to go in Japan. 

Now, his performances over the course of 2022 have been commended by team bosses with the 25-year-old coming top of their annual poll. The vote was conducted by the Formula One media team with all 10 principals taking part. Each submitted their list of the top 10 drivers of the season with points allocated the same way they are in a Grand Prix – 25 given for a win down to one for coming tenth. 

Verstappen dominated the standings picking up a huge 207 points out of a possible 250. Leclerc was 63 points behind in second with Russell picking up the last podium place on 127. His Mercedes teammate Hamilton followed with 100 with Red Bull man Sergio Perez completing the top five. 

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz came sixth and seventh respectively before Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and the retiring Sebastian Vettel rounded off the top ten. 

Verstappen is now a double world champion but has insisted he is taking nothing for granted next year as he seeks to win his third. The Dutchman expects the competition to be closer next season as manufacturers realise how to maximise performance under the new rules. 

“The others are not stupid,” he told Racing News 365. “And certainly, with these rules, which are a bit more restrictive than the previous set of rules, everyone is getting closer together. All teams now have an idea of ​​which course to take so yes, I expect smaller differences next year, but that’s only good.

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“Of course, I hope that we are still ahead, but that is not at all as obvious as this year.”

Verstappen’s title defence will get underway in Bahrain on March 5 with Russell, Hamilton and Leclerc likely to be his toughest competition for the championship. 

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