Damon Hill believes that Max Verstappen has been less ‘feisty’ with Charles Leclerc in 2022 than he was with Lewis Hamilton in 2021.
Verstappen has enjoyed one of the most dominant F1 seasons to date, with the Dutchman securing 14 wins and winning a second Drivers’ Championship with several rounds to spare.
In numerous races this season, the Red Bull driver has shown complete control on his way to victory, often taking wins with a lead of several seconds.
Hill, the 1996 world champion, praised Verstappen’s driving and his increased “maturity” in 2022.
“Basically, his performance this year has been pretty sublime,” Hill said of the F1 Nation Podcast.
“There are people who call attention to the consistency of his lap time during the Mexican Grand Prix, where he lapped within two tenths of a second practically every lap for about 40 laps.
“He has been driving with such maturity and composure that he is reaching the next level in terms of how people view his talent.”
Hill: Verstappen hasn’t had to fight another team
Verstappen’s second drivers’ title ended at this season’s Japanese Grand Prix, several races before his first championship success.
Asked about the difference between the two seasons in which Max Verstappen won the championship, Hill pointed to a lower intensity in the battle with Leclerc, compared to last season’s competition with Hamilton.
“Well, he doesn’t have to fight another team for a world championship, so he doesn’t seem to have the same reaction to his competition with Charles as he did with Lewis,” Hill added.
“There seems to be some kind of, I don’t know, difference of opinion between those two [Verstappen and Hamilton]but less with Charles Leclerc.
“Charles was a title contender and Max seemed to be handling him quite comfortably.”