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Max Verstappen

Five of Verstappen's best comeback drives

Max Verstappen will have a job on his hands to win Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after having qualified only 15th following a driveshaft issue on Saturday. But the Dutchman has form when it comes to scything his way through the field and ending up on the podium. RacingNews365 takes a look at five of Verstappen's best comeback drives.

Verstappen Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

Not a comeback performance in the traditional sense, as Verstappen lined up fourth on the grid at Interlagos. However, during a soaking wet race, Red Bull made an error in putting Verstappen on Intermediate tyres as the rain poured down. A late pit stop to full Wets put the Dutchman right at the back of the pack.

What followed was a masterclass in wet-weather driving. From 16th place, Verstappen worked his way up to third in a matter of laps, finding grip where others failed to do so. The Dutchman's performance that day prompted many comparisons to the legendary Ayrton Senna.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

Verstappen's first full season with Red Bull did not begin strongly, with just one podium finish across the first 14 races of 2017.

That lone top-three finish was a notable highlight, though, as Verstappen charged through the field in Shanghai after starting 16th following engine problems in qualifying.

In damp conditions in which the Dutchman typically excels, Verstappen was already up to seventh by the end of Lap 1, and ended the race in third place, notably finishing ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo who had started fifth.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

2018 United States Grand Prix

A combination of damaging his car on the kerbs during qualifying and being slapped with a five-place grid drop for excessive component usage saw Verstappen line up a lowly 18th for this race in Austin.

Verstappen then took advantage of a chaotic start and ran long into the race, overtaking several rivals on a tyre strategy that saw him up to second by the end, just 1.2 seconds behind winner Kimi Raikkonen.

The Dutchman's podium finish was a measure of redemption for the 2017 United States Grand Prix, where he was demoted from third to fourth place after running off-track when overtaking Raikkonen.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

Power unit problems in qualifying meant that Verstappen lined up tenth on the grid after failing to set a representative time in Q3.

In Sunday's race, however, the fired-up Dutchman moved up the order as he picked off rivals one by one, finally taking the lead from Lewis Hamilton on Lap 51 of 70 and remaining there until the chequered flag. Who says you can't overtake at the Hungaroring?

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

Verstappen had set the fastest time in qualifying at Spa but was obliged to start 14th after a grid penalty for excessive component usage.

Undaunted, the Dutchman had risen to eighth by Lap 2, and continued to pick his way through the field to take the lead from teammate Sergio Perez on Lap 12.

Though he lost his lead on Lap 16 after his first pit stop, Verstappen regained it two laps later when he passed Carlos Sainz, and the Dutchman was never subsequently headed as he took his ninth win of a dominant 2022 season.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

What are Verstappen's chances of a win in Jeddah?

Since joining the F1 calendar in 2021, the lightning-fast and challenging Jeddah Corniche Circuit has played host to dramatic races with plenty of crashes, Safety Cars and battles throughout the field.

The unpredictable nature of the racing in Saudi, combined with Verstappen seeking to scythe his way through the field, ensures that this year's race is set to be just as exciting as the two before it.

Could Verstappen finish on the podium? The chances seems very high, especially considering Red Bull's apparent advantage over Ferrari and Mercedes, who seem to be a second per lap slower.

Could the Dutchman even win the race? If everything falls into place, such an eventuality does not appear out of the question. Teammate Sergio Perez was the only one to manage to stay within half a second of Verstappen during fast runs in practice, with Verstappen clocking his lap times with apparent ease.

Much will depend on the course of the race and whether Verstappen manages to stay out of trouble. Nobody knows how the race will end, but the fans will surely have a great deal to look forward to.

Also interesting:

Video: How expensive is champagne in F1?

Although champagne has not been exclusively used on the podium, with F1 recently moving back to using sparkling wine, it forms a key part of post-race celebrations.

But what are the origins of this world-famous tradition? And with so many litres of this luxury drink sprayed throughout the season, how much money does such a champagne shower actually cost?

Check out our handy explainer video below.

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