Verstappen rivals delivered ominous warning by Prost – ‘The angry kid disappeared’

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Four-time World Champion Alain Prost believes the battle with
in 2021 eradicated the ‘impatient kid' in Max
Verstappen. The Red Bull driver secured his third consecutive
Drivers' title with second in the Qatar Grand Prix Sprint, securing
the title with six races remaining before going on to seal a 14th
win from 17 races in the main race at the Lusail International
Circuit. Verstappen's dominance over the past two seasons and his
performances during that time have been a departure from his first
seven years in the sport, where he was often maligned for his
racecraft and antics. But Prost has been impressed with the
character transformation displayed by the Dutchman and writing for
L'Equipe , he said: “Winning a third title is already something
great. “To win titles in a row is even greater. Because only a few
great names have managed it. “But I think that what makes Max
Verstappen so great and so strong is his ability to be a great
driver that he has been able to develop in order never to stumble
and always to want more. “There is no doubt that he has succeeded
in becoming a great driver. But what, in my opinion, makes him even
stronger is the way in which he has learned to be one with his car
and his team. “He's a great whole who strives for perfection every
day. When you hear the driver complaining about the bad behaviour
of his single-seater during free practice on Friday morning, it's
not the anger of the kid who used to make mistakes and sometimes
ended up in the wall because of his impatience. “No, this Max
disappeared at the end of 2021 at the end of his magnificent battle
against Lewis Hamilton. I'm not going to talk about the highly
controversial Abu Dhabi final, but about the way he and his Red
Bull battled throughout the season against Lewis Hamilton's
Mercedes.” Bad sign for the competition Whilst Verstappen's third
title has been a formality since teammate Sergio Perez's struggles
mid-season, the determination held by the Dutchman has often left
him an agitated figure when heard speaking to race engineer
Gianpiero Lambiase over team radio whenever the situation is not
100 per cent behind the wheel. “Beating the seven-time World
Champion gave him confidence and self-assurance. That first title
made him stronger,” explained Prost. “Since then, he has calmed
down. Except in his quest for perfection. It's a bad sign for the
competition because I don't see him leaving any time soon. “The
next two years without regulatory changes won't do much to change
its current strength. And, from 2026, as he is in symbiosis with
his team, they'll be able to rise to the challenge together and at
least fight for the title.”

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