We are well past the first half of the Formula 1 competition, and it seems the world champion is known by now. Not only does Max Verstappen achieve almost all pole positions, but he is also stringing together victory after victory.
Formula 1 back in the Dutch spotlight all over again
Motor sport has always had its supporters and Formula 1 in particular. But the scrapping of the Dutch Grand Prix and few, if any, Dutch participants in the pilots meant that attention for the sport at home was somewhat diluted among the general public.
This has recently changed. For several years now, Dutch compatriot Max Verstappen has been part of the Formula 1 circus, with still increasing success. Also, since last year, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands has again been held in Zandvoort. Formula 1 is all the way back.
The media attention is enormous and a whole legion of supporters has grown up around our champion Max. You notice this not only at the bookmakers, but also at online casinos such as Casino777 in the Netherlands. There, online slots themed on car racing are suddenly being launched. Indeed, the larger casino game designers such as NetEnt, Red Tiger and Novomatic have all released slots about the sport.
Will Max Verstappen take the top prize again?
Completely 100% sure, of course, he is not yet a world champion. But if he does not face bad luck or post-race injuries, he can almost certainly put the trophy next to last year’s on the mantelpiece.
At the time of writing this blog, 16 races have been run. Of these, Max has won 11 races, including the last five in a row. In total, Verstappen has already won 31 times out of 157 participations. He even made it to the podium 73 times.
With parents like race driver Jos Verstappen and a super-quick karting mother, Sophie Kumpen, motorsport was ingrained in his genes. Consequently, he became the youngest Formula 1 driver ever. Max had just turned 17 when he tore around the Melbourne circuit in an F1 car for the first time in 2015. He was already competing in the most prestigious international car races even before he got his Dutch road driving licence!
In 2016, Verstappen took his first Grand Prix. In Red Bull’s second team, Toro Rosso, he won in Spain. As a result, he became the youngest racing driver to win a Grand Prix. He was also the first Dutchman to achieve it.
At the end of that season, he made the switch to Red Bull itself, a constructor that has been at the absolute top of Formula 1 for more than a decade.
What are we still expecting for the rest of the season?
Only six races remain (the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled) until the final chequered flag waves in Abu Dhabi. A thriller like last year does not seem to be in the cards. Then, in that Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the curtain only fell after the final round of the competition year.
Eight-time world champion Lewis Hamilton still questioned Verstappen’s victory then. But Max was and remained the 2021 champion and for this year we expect nothing less.