Max Verstappen turned 10th and 14th on the grid into victories, in successive races, first in Hungary pre-summer and in Belgium again this past Sunday, what can stop the Red Bull driver from running away with his home Dutch Grand Prix this weekend?
Spa-Francorchamps was a Formula 1 World Champion masterclass that triggered the most commonly used phrase “Max is on another level” from pundits, fans, and team bosses through to drivers. The 2022 Belgian Grand Prix had Verstappen etched on it before it began!
With eight rounds remaining, Zandvoort’s race is the 14th on the 2022 F1 calendar, the Red Bull ace arrives on home soil leading the drivers’ standings by 93 points over teammate Sergio Perez in second; Charles Leclerc is a further five points adrift.
Holland might as well turn the event into a coronation because, at this rate, nothing can stop Verstappen’s canter to a second title, and his 30th career victory on Sunday, at Zandy would be ultra-sweet. Which would also take his tally to ten victories in 15 races this season.
But that’s getting ahead of the game, because Verstappen, quoted in the Red Bull preview of the weekend ahead, is not so confident he will have a dominant package he had in Budapest and at Spa, two vastly different tracks: “There’s a lot more downforce required at the track in Zandvoort so it will be harder for us to be dominant, I expect Ferrari to be strong there.
“I, of course, want a good result but it’s important to always score points, lets hope we can do a good job. It will be great to have my family there supporting me, I’m just going to enjoy the weekend with all the fans, it’s going to be pretty crazy.
“After the successful weekend we’ve had in Spa, I’m really looking forward to the Dutch Grand Prix,” said Max, the winner of last year’s Dutch Grand Prix, who will wear a special tribute helmet in honour of his father Jos this weekend.
Perez: At Zandvoort support for Max is crazy, it’s great
In the sister Red Bull, Perez is ticking all the boxes, by his own admission he had no answer to Verstappen at Spa, but is relishing the prospect of returning to his teammate’s home,e track: “It’s great to be back in Zandvoort, it’s a brilliant place. The Dutch fans are amazing for the team and their support for Max is crazy, it’s great.”
As for his own form, after all he was well beaten at Spa and Budapest by his teammate, in just about all sessions; Checo acknowledged: “I have work to do and want to keep pushing, I think this circuit will pull us all closer together so it’s going to be an exciting weekend.
“It’s a good track here, it’s very challenging and we hope to keep the momentum we had in Belgium. We will analyse everything from Belgium as a team to see where we can get closer to Max, I want to make sure we can come back stronger,” added Perez, whose one Mexican fans are pretty dedicated!
Together Max and Checo have amassed 475 points in the 2022 F1 constructors’ standings for Red Bull, 118 points ahead of Ferrari, a first constructors title since they did the bsuiness in 2013 with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.