Verstappen laughs off pressure of home race


"I wouldn't wish it on anyone," jokes Max Verstappen as he denies home race in front of the adoring Orange Army places undue pressure on him.

The Dutchies are a familiar sight at almost every track on the calendar, but Zandvoort is where support for the local hero - albeit born in Belgium - goes off the scale.

This weekend, in addition to extending his championship lead, the youngster could make history by becoming the first driver to win nine successive races.

Asked if the pressure of performing in front of his countrymen, at an event that essentially only returned to the schedule due to his success, the two-time world champion replied: "I wouldn't wish it on anyone!"

Instantly breaking into laughter, he quickly continued.

"Honestly I think it's great, it doesn't bring for me a weight on my shoulders or extra pressure, it's just amazing this is possible.

"I think nobody like ten years ago even thought about a grand prix here," he continued, "and that we're able to do that now is just fantastic and hopefully it will continue for a while. For me it's amazing to be here, to see all the fans, and drive such an incredible track."

Asked his goal for the second half of the season, he admitted: "Just try to keep on doing the same thing, that would be nice. But, of course, after a break you never know how you get back into things, also the track and the weather that is forecast is always a bit more tricky. We'll see, we have a good car, again it's about putting everything together to have a good weekend."

Other than his string of victories, Red Bull is on a run of 13 wins. However, when asked if the Austrian outfit might do the seemingly impossible and sweep the board this season, Verstappen opted to play things down.

"I mean honestly, I don't think we really think about it too much as we just want to look ahead and bring the best possible car to the track.

"I think everyone's is always trying to prepare in that way," he added, "of course, we want to win here, no secret about that."

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Published: 24/08/2023
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