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Max Verstappen

Verstappen responds to Dutch GP 'pressure' concerns

Max Verstappen's surge in popularity was a huge push for the return of the Dutch Grand Prix

Verstappen Zandvoort Thursday
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen has hailed the increased interest in Formula 1 in the Netherlands on the eve of his home Grand Prix weekend.

The Red Bull driver has fashioned himself into one of the sport’s most successful drivers since securing his first Drivers' title in 2021 and is currently en route to his third successive triumph.

After joining the grid in 2015, many European races saw flocks of dedicated Verstappen fans take over grandstands, with the Belgian and Austrian Grands Prix in particular greeting swathes of the Oranje Army.

As Verstappen’s popularity and achievements grew, so too did his following and in 2021, F1 returned to Zandvoort for the first time since 1985 for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Now being viewed as one of the biggest sporting stars in his country’s history, Verstappen has insisted there is no added pressure on his shoulders.

“Honestly, I think it's just great,” he told media including RacingNews365.com.

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

“Nobody 10 years ago even thought about a grand prix here, and that we're able to do this now is fantastic.”

Verstappen hopes Zandvoort has long-term future

The Dutch Grand Prix currently has a contract in place until at least the end of 2025, though will likely look to extend its stay on the calendar given the draw of Verstappen.

“Hopefully it [the race] will continue for a while,” said Verstappen.

"It is just amazing to be here, see all of the fans and drive such an incredible track.

“It’s a great weekend for me to come to. It's great to see all the fans next to the track and it's also an amazing track to drive.

“So all of those things together makes it a fun weekend.”

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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