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Verstappen on winning his first world title: 'That was crucial'

Verstappen on winning his first world title: 'That was crucial'

18 May - 13:13 Last update: 15:10
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GPblog.com

Max Verstappen can still enjoy the world title he captured last season, he says in The Edge podcast. In doing so, the Dutchman continues to realise that without Sergio Perez, he would still have been without a top prize.

Since his rival Lewis Hamilton won several consecutive victories at the end of the season last year, both men were tied in the world championship prior to the final race in Abu Dhabi. The Briton was in the lead for a long time in that race and therefore seemed to be on his way to his eighth world title until he got stuck behind Perez.

Verstappen saw Perez have important contribution

Verstappen's teammate delayed his pit stop and held up Hamilton for a long time, giving the Dutch driver the opportunity to get closer again. It ultimately proved to be a very important moment. "I didn't see Lewis because he was so far ahead but I knew Checo was still out there," Verstappen reflects.

He is therefore still very grateful to Perez. "That made my race because if Checo wouldn't have done that, I wouldn't have been champion because he would have done a free pit-stop and that would have been it. So to completely reduce that gap was crucial to the win in the end."

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