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Why Verstappen is expecting a tougher test at Zandvoort

Red Bull took a comfortable 1-2 finish at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen winning convincingly despite starting 14th. But the Dutchman is expecting a tougher assignment this weekend at Zandvoort.

Max Verstappen is anticipating a harder fight for victory at this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix than he had last weekend in Belgium. Despite setting the fastest lap in Saturday's qualifying session at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, Verstappen was obliged to start the Belgian Grand Prix 14th after taking a grid penalty for excessive component usage. Undaunted, Verstappen scythed his way through the field and was never headed from Lap 18, winning with consummate ease from teammate Sergio Perez. Such was Verstappen's dominance that Red Bull Special Advisor Helmut Marko said the Dutchman could even have won at Spa from the back of the grid. However, the tighter confines of the Zandvoort circuit will require a very different setup to Spa, and Verstappen noted that his home race may see Ferrari return to form. "After the successful weekend we had in Spa, I'm really looking forward to the Dutch Grand Prix," said Verstappen, who won last year's race at Zandvoort (main picture). "There's a lot more downforce required at Zandvoort, so it will be harder for us to be dominant, and I expect Ferrari to be strong there. "Of course I want a good result, but it's important to always score points. Let's hope we can do a good job. "It will be great to have my family there supporting me, I'm just going to enjoy the weekend with all the fans, it’s going to be pretty crazy."

Perez: The Dutch fans are crazy!

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez noted the Dutchman's fanatical support at his home race, and hoped it would propel Red Bull to glory once again in 2022. "It's great to be back in Zandvoort, it's a brilliant place," said Perez. "The Dutch fans are amazing for the team and their support for Max is crazy, it's great. "It's a good track here, it's very challenging and we hope to keep the momentum we had in Belgium. "I have work to do and want to keep pushing, I think this circuit will pull us all closer together so it’s going to be an exciting weekend."

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