Formula 1: The ambassador of the Netherlands: Verstappen “untouchable”

Formula 1: The ambassador of the Netherlands: Verstappen “untouchable”

The king of the country praises the king of Formula 1. Almost everyone bows to Max Verstappen. But one also announces something like a small victory revolution.

Even the King of the Netherlands went into raptures after the renewed demonstration of power by the Formula 1 ruler at his party home race.

“What an ambassador for our country,” said King Willem-Alexander after Max Verstappen’s record-breaking win in Zandvoort in a spectacularly rainy day.

And even the highly decorated competition bowed to the 25-year-old – only two-time world champion. “Sometimes what Max achieves is underestimated,” said Fernando Alonso, himself a two-time champion and a strong second on the dune course on the North Sea: “To win in such a superior manner in any professional sport is so complicated.”

138 points ahead of Pérez in World Championship standings

With Verstappen, however, it seems almost playful, instinctive, even in conditions like on Sunday. He’s doing the right thing. He shed the impetuosity and high spirits of the pre-world championship days after the first title triumph in 2021 at the latest. “Max is in a phase of his career where he is simply untouchable,” said his Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

“I don’t think there is any other driver in the field who would be able to do what he is doing with the car.” Evidence of this are also the 138 points that now separate Verstappen from his teammate Sergio Pérez in the World Championship standings. And Pérez is even second in the standings.

Verstappen’s title hat-trick is only a matter of time after his extra-class performance in the victory hat-trick in the Netherlands – he also won in Zandvoort in 2021 and 2022. In just under four weeks it can be so far, Japan is a possible coronation place. But before the stressful overseas weeks of the motorsport premier class, Verstappen can already set the sole victory record next Sunday – nobody has managed ten Grand Prix successes in a row.

Sole record from next week?

Nine were successful in 2013 Sebastian Vettel, also in a Red Bull. “It was an unbelievable series with Sebastian Vettel at the time. The fact that Max has now caught up with it fits into this season,” said Red Bull’s motorsport director Helmut Marko on Sky. “What no one needs to do is make life easier for Max Verstappen. He’s the best of his time, dancing through the rain on his way to a record-breaking ninth straight win in a chaotic Holland race,” she wrote British Daily Mail.

Verstappen didn’t want to waste any thought on the sole record in the triumphal rush of Zandvoort and after the powerful handshake with the Dutch king: “I’ll think about that next week.” Quite a few even expect Verstappen to win all the remaining races. So far he has a quota of eleven out of 13. Nine Grand Prix are still scheduled.

But despite all the praise, Alonso also dared to take cover a little, just like in the race when he briefly seemed to dare to attack Verstappen in the final laps. The slippery, wet track and the secure position behind Verstappen were understandable reasons for the 42-year-old veteran not to take the risk. “I’ll take it with me,” said Alonso, looking at second place, and announced: “But we’ll win a race soon.”

Whether Verstappen will allow that will be the most exciting remaining question of this season in the spirit of the Dutch Formula 1 king.

Source: Stern

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