In the midst of Max Verstappen’s commanding lead this season, F1’s head honcho, Stefano Domenicali, has offered words of endorsement.
In the Zandvoort qualifiers, Lando Norris of McLaren emerged as the nearest rival to the Red Bull star, yet he lagged behind by half a second.
Confronted with the sizable margin, Norris replied, “No, no. It’s never a surprise anymore.”
He further elaborated, “I’ll challenge him for probably two laps, then he’ll drive away,” forecasting the events of the upcoming Dutch GP.
The sentiment continues: “Every now and again you hope Max makes a mistake and he doesn’t.”
Now 25, Verstappen is on the precipice of tying the consecutive grand prix wins record set by former Red Bull talent, Sebastian Vettel.
The Dutch driver recalled, “I think after like five wins in a row, Seb texted me something like ‘you’re going to do it’. But I never thought I’d be on eight.”
While some spectators believe Verstappen’s commanding lead saps the excitement from Formula 1, Domenicali countered this sentiment in a recent dialogue with Liberty Media investors. “Because if you see the other car and where the others are in terms of the gap, it’s just incredible. If someone is great, we need to celebrate what they’re doing,” he asserted.
Adding weight to his words, Domenicali further expressed, “Sometimes I have to say there is also the need to confirm the legacy of somebody who is doing some spectacular stuff.”
In an interaction with the de Telegraaf daily at Zandvoort, Domenicali aired his view that the day isn’t far when Verstappen’s challengers would close the distance. “It’s up to the other teams to get closer to Red Bull anyway,” he voiced.
Drawing a parallel, he mused, “But there are probably fans of (Dutch football club) PSV who don’t mind that their club becomes champion every year. And if that were the case, you would have to respect that.”