Max Verstappen has revealed the race where he felt the most pressure during the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The Dutchman was involved in a closely-fought battle for the title against Lewis Hamilton throughout the 22-race calendar, and experienced several highs and lows along the way to claiming his first World Championship.
It is perhaps fitting, then, that a weekend that brought great joy for Verstappen was also one where he felt the most amount of pressure from those watching.
This was his home event of the Dutch Grand Prix in September, where he started from pole and went on to take a dominant victory.
"Besides the last Grand Prix [in Abu Dhabi], that was the race where I felt more pressure than other ones," Verstappen said in an interview with personal sponsor CarNext.
"Because everyone expected me to win there, the fans. It was like, 'Max is coming here, and he's going to do it, he's going to win'.
"But, of course, we're in this tense battle, and it was going a bit up and down in terms of performance."
Dutch Grand Prix was "amazing feeling" for Verstappen
Fortunately for Verstappen, the weekend at Zandvoort proved to be a successful one for him, and he admits that his victory was an "amazing feeling".
The Red Bull driver also felt a sense of relief, though, when he could relax again after it was over.
"The whole weekend, of course, I wanted it to be perfect," Verstappen explained. "And it was basically almost perfect.
"It couldn't have [gone] better [than] pole position and winning the race, but also the way in the race, they really threw everything at me with strategy, with the two cars, playing a different one, and we still managed to win it.
"So it was an amazing feeling, but also when I crossed the line, I was also relieved. I was like, 'The weekend is done. I can rest now!'"
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