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Verstappen feared for title chances in Imola: 'Couldn't afford mistakes'

Verstappen feared for title chances in Imola: 'Couldn't afford mistakes'

17-12-2022 18:42 Last update: 20:25


Max Verstappen could not have predicted after a difficult start to the Formula 1 season that he would have already secured the title after the Japanese Grand Prix. After dropping lots of point early in the year, he realised he could not afford any mistakes.

After two stoppages in the first three races - two of which were won by Charles Leclerc - Verstappen was facing some serious catching up. Imola would show that the balance of power had changed, but prior to that race, the Dutchman feared his gap would be too big.

Verstappen feared too big a gap to Leclerc

"You know when you have to fight for a title, you need to score points basically every race as much as you can. That’s why at the beginning of the year, it was very tough to have these DNFs. I knew from that point onwards, I could not afford any mistakes from my side," Verstappen explained during the press conference before the FIA gala in Bologna.

The Red Bull Racing driver crashed out in both Bahrain and Australia due to fuel pump problems, leaving him 46 points behind. From the Emilia-Romagna GP onwards, however, he began to fight his way back and slowly gained the upper hand over Leclerc.