The Dutch press react to Verstappen's lost victory

07-06-2021 08:00
The Dutch press react to Verstappen's lost victory

The Dutch papers saw an emotional Red Bull Racing driver who crashed out from the lead in the final five laps due to a tyre blow out. He did a get a boost after Lewis Hamilton's mistake took him to a fifteenth place finish.

The Telegraph

The morning paper compares Verstappen with football player Arjen Robben who has 96 caps for the Dutch national team. "Like Robben in his best days, Verstappen banged his left foot against the most talked about object of the day: the left rear tyre of his RB16B. Just like Lance Stroll before him, the rubber popped off at top speed and he slammed into the wall at great speed. The problem was that his team Red Bull Racing did not see anything on the pit wall to indicate a problem with the rubber. In Formula 1, nothing is left to chance and everything is monitored.

It was notable that the 23-year-old Dutchman was constantly discussing with race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase whether all the temperatures would be OK. "Verstappen led comfortably and was calmly informed by Lambiase that there were still five laps to go when disaster struck. On the approach to the straight, exactly the same as what happened to Stroll on the hard tyre after just over thirty laps."

Algemeen Dagblad

The AD saw a visibly frustrated Verstappen. "Did he feel angry? Furious? Defeated? Or a bit relieved? Max Verstappen could hardly choose, all those emotions came one by one to Baku. And all mixed up together as well. Torpedoed into the wall at rocket speed as the leader of the race, due to a Pirelli left rear wheel blowing up, with only five laps to go. Yes, that's where his spirits got the biggest knock because Verstappen felt more or less certain of victory after a particularly strong afternoon."

The newspaper continued: "Leaning on a trellis at the edge of the paddock, he was able to tell us about it an hour later with a pretty tidy face. That was easy to explain because after his crash the thrilling street race in Baku had another surprise in store for him. Of course the Dutchman, like his fans, initially feared the worst. That his lead in the World Championship would evaporate and competitor Lewis Hamilton would take a big hit. But it turned out differently. Even a seven-time world champion sometimes makes mistakes, as was evident at the restart."


The NRC writes that motorsport fans around the world have been begging for years for more excitement in Formula 1, and less predictable races. "At the sixth race of the 2021 season, on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital Baku, fans got even more than they asked for on Sunday afternoon: a crazy race with an unexpected winner, Mexican Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez."

Actually, victory should have gone to another Red Bull driver. "For an hour and a half, there seemed no problem for Verstappen, who has a lead of a few points over Hamilton in the World Championship standings. Verstappen was on course for his third win of the season. Until fate struck five laps before the end, like a bolt from the blue.


The Volkskrant also makes a contribution. "Winning back the World Championship lead during a weekend like this would be a psychological boost for Hamilton and at the same time cause Verstappen extra grumpiness. With that in mind, Hamilton eagerly started the last, remaining two laps. He seemed to take over the lead from Pérez at the restart for a moment until his wheels locked up before the first corner."

"So Verstappen became the moral winner of the weekend after all," the newspaper continued. "His teammate won the race, he couldn't blame himself, his team had stayed faultless and he was still World Championship leader. It just wasn't the feeling that prevailed with him."


The Parool also believes that the Grand Prix in Baku deserved a different winner. "With head down back to the pits. What a huge dull misery for Max Verstappen, after what seemed for a long time a faultless race from the book. Almost another 25 World Championship points in the bag, two weeks after his win in Monaco."

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