FIA chief send heartwarming title support to Lewis Hamilton over Max Verstappen battle at prize-giving

FIA chief Ben Sulayem is hoping to see Lewis Hamilton and co give Max Verstappen a run for his money in 2024. The Dutchman dominated the grid last season, becoming the first driver to break the coveted 500-point barrier en route to his third consecutive world title.

Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez looked as though he would challenge Verstappen in the standings after wins in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan at the start of the season. But the Mexican star quickly fell behind as Verstappen walked the championship.

With six races remaining in the season, Red Bull secured the Constructors’ Championship at Suzuka, making things even simpler for them. Even though Hamilton’s Mercedes was a stunning 451 points behind the leaders, they went the closest in second place to unseat the defending champions.

When Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari stunned the field with an incredible victory in Singapore, he became the only driver from an opposing team to win a single Grand Prix in 2023.

It’s safe to say that neutrals haven’t had the most exciting year, and Sulayem is looking forward to increased competition in 2024. “So I will say well done and to more success to everyone, and not just you [Verstappen] to make it more interesting,” he said in his speech during the F1 Prize Giving Ceremony.

Red Bull CEO Christian Horner represented the Milton Keynes-based team at the ceremony on Friday in Baku, Azerbaijan, where Verstappen and Perez accepted their respective winner and runners-up trophies.

“It’s been the most amazing season for the team, winning five out of six Sprint races and breaking so many records,” Horner stated. It’s truly something exceptional.

“To attain this degree of excellence, every man and woman on the team has made behind-the-scenes contributions. This award, in my opinion, is very much given in honor of all the men and women who work at Red Bull Racing; they have done an incredible job of supporting both drivers.

Max undoubtedly joins the greats of today. We’re having a big year and evening, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Verstappen continued, “It’s been amazing. Along with being a lot of fun, working with everyone has been. Everybody wants to succeed and do their hardest, but when traveling so much throughout the globe, it’s nice to do it with wonderful people, and Red Bull is a great place to do that.

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