Max Verstappen Earns F1 Team Principals’ Vote While Lewis Hamilton Misses Out

Published 12/18/2021, 10:02 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship on the podium Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili


The Autosport magazine has had a long-standing tradition of asking team bosses to pick their top 10 drivers of the year. Usually, the top spot has been Lewis Hamilton’s for a while; however, now, it seems like Max Verstappen has been the favorite.

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All team principals, excluding Ferrari’s, were asked to pick their top 10 drivers of the year. The results are anonymous, so honesty is expected. The point system is the same as the one followed during a race, with 25 points for first, and a point for 10th.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after finishing first on the podium with second placed, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and third placed, McLaren’s Lando Norris REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini.

Once again, Verstappen outscored Hamilton by fourteen points. This is the first time the Dutchman has sat on top of the list. As Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had said, “the statistics talk for themselves: the amount of laps that he’s led, the pole positions, the race victories. He’s been outstanding, and, so few mistakes under massive pressure.”

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The top five on the list was Verstappen, followed by Hamilton; Lando Norris climbed up the charts, followed by his former teammate, Carlos Sainz. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso rounded up the top 5. Surprisingly, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez failed to reappear on the list.

Max Verstappen thanks Sergio Perez

While the team principal vote was well deserved, Verstappen’s battle for the championship was not fought alone. Sergio Perez has played a crucial role in getting that maiden title. Especially in Abu Dhabi; Perez’s lap 20 battle with Hamilton helped close the gap between the two protagonists, giving Verstappen a fighting chance to win the race.

Verstappen acknowledged how important his teammate has been. “I think without Checo I wouldn’t be sitting here right now because then they would have had a pit gap with the Safety Car and stuff so definitely Checo was driving incredibly today.”

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Being Verstappen’s teammate is often associated with the Red Bull second seat curse, one which Checo has managed to avoid. “When we started working together, it’s difficult to know exactly how it’s going to work out. But… Checo is an amazing human being. Not only just to work with in F1 but a super nice person…”

Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 7, 2021. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with third placed Red Bull’s Sergio Perez after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Guasco.

Further, the champion held his teammate in high regard. “It’s very rare to have a teammate like that and what he showed today, he was a real team player and I really hope we can continue this for a long time.”

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As the pairing has done Red Bull extremely well this season, maybe we will see more of the duo in the future. At least for next year, the dynamic duo of Red Bull will hit the tracks again- a constructor’s title well up for grabs.

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Shreya Sanjeev

764 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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