Verstappen eyes next goal for remaining 2022 races
"It’s been a pretty special year that you don’t have very often"
New back-to-back drivers’ world champion Max Verstappen says his goal for the remaining four races is now to help Red Bull secure the constructors’ crown.
It would be the first time since the Sebastian Vettel era in 2013 that Red Bull won the team title, breaking Mercedes’ dominant eight-year streak.
"We’re leading the constructors so we really want to focus on that - try to secure that," Verstappen said after the Japanese GP.
"It’s been a pretty special year that you don’t have very often."
Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland: "We can’t forget that Sergio Perez ultimately made Max world champion with his attack on Leclerc in the last corner, resulting in a penalty for the Ferrari driver.
"Last year Max became world champion in the last lap, now it was in the last corner in Japan," he smiled.
Indeed, Dr Helmut Marko is also setting his sights on Sergio Perez finishing second overall in the drivers’ chase, as he currently leads Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by a single point.
"That would be the first time we’ve finished first and second in the world championship," Marko said. "That’s our next goal."
Perez, meanwhile, tipped his hat to Verstappen’s dominance as his now unassailable points deficit to the Dutchman is an astonishing 113 points.
"I was able to keep up at the beginning of the season, but then it was like Max found a higher gear," he said.
"Some of his races were flat-out unbelievable."
But together, they can lift the constructors’ championship - merely by finishing ahead of both Ferrari drivers at the forthcoming US GP in Austin.
The current points gap is a mammoth 165 points.
When asked if putting the lid on Red Bull’s double world championship triumph in 2022 is now the priority, Verstappen answered: "Absolutely.
"That is the next target and I’m going to give it everything I have to make sure that we win that one as well."