Jenson Button believes that the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen will be on a mission in 2022, to win again and prove his maiden title was not aided by Michael Masi’s actions in Abu Dhabi.
With the future of Michael Masi still hanging in the balance, with no decisive action coming from the latest F1 Commission meeting in London on Monday, Button believes that the controversial circumstances under which Verstappen won his maiden title will motivate the Dutchman to win another.
“I’m sure he wants to come out fighting and fight for victory from the word go,” Button told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s kind of a World Championship he has won, but I’m sure he wants to go and win another so he can go ‘look, it wasn’t down to Michael Masi’,” the 2009 F1 Champion insisted.
Verstappen an exceptional talent
Button however believes that the controversy does not eclipse Verstappen immense talent, with the racing genes he got from his father Jos, a former F1 driver, and mother Sohpie Kumpen a professional racer herself as well.
“It’s always difficult when there’s a controversial ending,” the Briton said “But he’s an exceptional talent and I said that from the word go.
“I raced against his dad in F1, Jos Verstappen, and I raced against his mum – she was my team-mate in karting!” Button revealed.
“Max was always going to be a good driver and it’s whether he can keep building on the natural ability he has.”
Button, now an F1 pundit for sky F1 and an advisor for for Williams, is adamant that talent is not enough, as it should be followed up by development and continuous improving.
“For me, he’s the fastest, most gifted driver, but it’s whether he can improve on that and build himself into someone like Lewis who is the complete package,” the 42-year-old reflected.
Verstappen will commence his title defense on the weekend of the opening race of the 2022 F1 season in Bahrain between March 18 and 20.