Apr.4 - Max Verstappen's new title head-to-head will not echo the ultra intense rivalry he had in 2021 with Lewis Hamilton.

That is the view of former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos, who says Verstappen's wheel-to-wheel battling with Charles Leclerc in Saudi Arabia was par for the course for two drivers who have been racing one another since childhood.

"It was fair and square racing," the Dutchman told Racexpress. "Hard, yes, but I don't get the feeling that things will go wrong between Leclerc and Max.

"Maybe in race 20, if it's about the title, but it always felt much more intense with Hamilton and Max. This was just really nice racing," Doornbos added.

He also thinks 2022 so far should result in Formula 1 giving itself a pat on the back for delivering exactly what the radical new technical rules promised.

"They dared to look so far ahead and were able to implement the rules they wanted," said Doornbos. "It's especially nice to see the teams all implement those rules in their own way."

As for Mercedes, however, the 40-year-old thinks the reigning constructors' world champions have finally "lost their way" in Formula 1.

"It's going to take them a while to get it all together again," said Doornbos.

"They'll get there because it's such a good team, but that eighth drivers' title is not going to be possible for Lewis Hamilton this year."

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