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Dutch media outlet claims Verstappen form the cause of F1 saturation

Dutch media outlet, De Limburger, has reported that even Max Verstappen fans are showing signs of fatigue as the world champ continues to steam roll the 2023 F1 season

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The Max Verstappen masterclass over the F1 field this season has been nothing short of remarkable. The Dutch driver has not only clinched his third consecutive world championship but he’s continued to shatter records.

Verstappen F1 Dutch Las Vegas
Max Verstappen celebrates extending his record number of wins in a single F1 season to 17 at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @redbullracing on X)

With a staggering 17 victories out of 20 grands prix so far, he’s now surpassed his own record from last year of 15 wins – a mark that previously seemed unattainable.

Amidst the jubilation, however, are whispers of a growing sentiment amongst even the most fervent Verstappen fans…

Ripples in the Verstappen pool

Dutch media outlet, De Limburger, has raised concerns about a noticeable shift in attitude within the passionate fanbase. While Verstappen’s dominance has made him a national icon and filled grandstands with the vibrant Orange Army, the newspaper suggests that the once-thrilling novelty of his supremacy may be fading, even for his most dedicated supporters.

“The fact that even Max Verstappen’s most ardent fans are showing signs of saturation is a sign of the writing on the wall,” warns De Limburger.

Despite calls from Formula 1 pundits to appreciate the brilliance of Verstappen and the 26-year-old’s historical feats, there’s a lingering feeling that a one-driver monopoly may not be the healthiest structure for the sport.

Verstappen’s unparalleled success has set a new standard. However, it has opened doors to the argument that the predictability of his victories may be impacting and draining the overall excitement of Formula 1.

The criticism levied against the sport and Verstappen’s impeccable form is nothing new. Since 2000, four drivers have won three consecutive drivers’ titles.

Further still, Michael Schumacher won five back-to-back, and both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton claimed four in a row. Over those 24 seasons, a mere eight drivers have clinched the world championship.

And whilst some of Schumacher, Vettel and Hamilton’s titles saw them crush the opposition, the manner in which Verstappen has breezed to his last two championships – and in the cost cap era – is a cause of fresh concern.

An unapologetic response

The United States Grand Prix saw Verstappen met with boos as he stood on the podium, a rare occurrence for the popular Dutch driver. This backlash prompted a calm and collected response from Verstappen, going on to defend his team’s dominance whilst dismissing those critical of their successes.

Even in defeat, he’s had to defend their record. After Ferrari took the only non-Red Bull win of 2023 in Singapore, Verstappen was defiant in tone:

“For me, it was just we got beaten, in a very clear way. I don’t think about what is good for Formula 1. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad what was happening to Formula 1 because we were just better than everyone else. And if people can’t appreciate that, then you’re not a real fan.”

Potential Achilles heel

With only two races left on the 2023 calendar, Verstappen is poised to end the season with a staggering 19 victories. However, a chink in the armour may have been found.

The upcoming maiden running of the Las Vegas Grand Prix introduces an element of uncertainty and opportunity for the rest of the paddock to see if the seemingly insurmountable Verstappen can be toppled.

The new addition is likely to level the playing field, as none of the drivers have raced the circuit before, thus creating an opening for those who have yet to get the better of Verstappen this season.

When asked about the Las Vegas track, the man himself shared his thoughts.

“I still need to go on the simulator. I still don’t even know the track, to be honest. The last time I tried it on the F1 game, I think I hit more walls than I was going straight. So, let’s hope that’s not the case when I start driving there,” the 52-time grand prix winner began.

“It’s a street circuit, we have no experience there, we don’t know the track grip. All new – so maybe it will give you a few surprises. I don’t know.”

Featured Image Credit: @redbullracing on X

  1. This is one of the most ignorant trends I’ve ever seen in my life. People are turning against Verstappen because he’s a winner? Is this where we are now, where society only wants an underdog to succeed? We now want to ensure people with less ability get the accolades because “everyone is a winner”? In the first Gulf War a reporter asked General Powell if it wasn’t somehow bad that we were beating the Iraqi soldiers so completely. His response was this is what America has invested time and money into for years, for the technical superiority and the best-trained soldiers, and because of that we were winning (almost) effortlessly. Now this mindset is repeating itself. Should Verstappen just use 50% of RB-19’s power? Should his pit crews give him an automatic 5-second penalty every time he comes in, just because someone else’s feelings are getting hurt? Maybe just have him run his races on intermediate tires regardless of conditions?

    What are people thinking? Where is this coming from? Maybe people that want lesser drivers on the podium are also upset at the fact they are not winners in their own lives, possibly from a lack of effort or ability. Either way, it’s easier to tear someone down whose best is better than the rest rather than challenge others to raise up their game. What an ignorant and self-destructive path this world is now on. You’re watching history being made by a once in a generation driver. Stop whining and enjoy what you’re lucky enough to be seeing.

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