Jos Verstappen has acknowledged that the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021 was hard to take for Mercedes after the drivers’ world championship slipped from their grasp, but insists Red Bull had the slower car towards the end of the season.
Verstappen’s son, Max, was able to fit new tyres and overtake Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the final race of the year to snatch his maiden Formula 1 title.
“Fantastic race," Verstappen told PlanetF1. "At the end of the day, I can imagine how Mercedes has felt, but it has nothing to do… we didn’t make those decisions.
“For the fans of Formula 1 and, of course, speaking as Max’s Dad, it couldn’t been better. It was so exciting until the last moment.
“Of course, for us, the outcome was nice. I can imagine, for Lewis and Toto, it’s not as nice. But that’s how it is, you know, you have to accept it.
“I think, now, we have a more competitive car. That makes a difference. In 2021, I think in the last couple of races Mercedes was above us. We were still competing with a slower car against a faster one. Now, I think we have the edge over everybody else. That’s the difference.”
The edge that Red Bull have enjoyed this season could carry over to next season, having reserved their resources to develop their 2024 challenger earlier than their rivals.
It’s entirely possible that Max Verstappen could match Sebastian Vettel’s historic streak of four consecutive world championships by the end of next season.
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