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Max Verstappen wants a victory to remember at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix

Max Verstappen wants a victory to remember at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix

Formula One fans hope that Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix will be a spectacular race to remember, rather than a disaster to be forgotten.
The Belgian Grand Prix last weekend was interrupted amid downpours, shortly after starting a safety car for a few laps and more than three hours later than scheduled.
The fans, many of whom were stranded for hours in traffic to get to and from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, had waited drenched.
All they saw at the end was a mere 10 minutes of cars moving slowly behind the safety car and stopping on lap 4, with the water hitting their hooves.
Under the regulations, victory was awarded to Max Verstappen, as the Red Bull driver completed two laps. Meanwhile, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton finished third: “It was a sham,” the Mercedes driver later complained.
F1 received an avalanche of criticism from F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) – the governing body – promised to investigate what happened and examine how to respond to fans who bought tickets.
“The FIA, together with Formula One and the teams, will carefully review the regulations to see what can be learned and improved for the future,” FIA President Jean Todt said this week.
The race awarded only half of the points to the winner, giving Max Verstappen 12.5 points for his sixth win of the season and the least memorable of 16 of his career.
“It’s not the way you hope to win a race, but the points are still important and we have to maximize every opportunity,” said Verstappen. “I hope we can put on a good show for everyone in the stands this weekend.”
The victory at Spa reduced Hamilton’s lead in the table from eight to three points ahead of the Dutch GP, where the Brit will look to extend his record to 100 victories, at the home of Verstappen.
The 4.3-kilometer (2.7-mile) undulating circuit is located in the spa town of Zandvoort, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. It is a fast track, with curves of up to 18 degrees that offer many opportunities to pass.
Zandvoort had its first race in 1952 and its last in 1985. It was due to return to the calendar last year, but it was one of several canceled by the pandemic.
In 1952, Alberto Ascari led a 1-2-3 for Ferrari, which has not won an F1 race since Sebastian Vettel’s victory at the Singapore GP two years ago.
The 1985 edition was an intense duel between world champions
Three-time champion Nelson Piquet took pole, four-time champion Alain Prost had the fastest lap. The victory went to the late Niki Lauda, ​​ahead of Prost and the late Ayrton Senna, winner of three scepters.
On Sunday there will be four champions on the grid.
Hamilton is joined by Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
In total he has seven titles, but none come close to Hamilton.
Verstappen certainly is, and a seventh win of the season would bring him back to the top in the intense championship fight.
Achieving it in front of his legion of devoted fans, whom Verstappen calls his “Orange Army” and who follow him in great numbers, would be especially emotional.
“It will be special to have a race in the Netherlands in front of my audience,” said Verstappen, who raced here seven years ago in F3. “But also, as a driver, it’s a good challenge to go to a new circuit and push it to the limit. The qualifying laps are going to be very fast, so any mistakes are going to be really costly ”.
Qualifying on Saturday, with tens of thousands of spectators shouting for Verstappen, could be intense even for someone with Hamilton’s experience. The 36-year-old Briton holds the F1 record with 101 poles, but this season he trails Verstappen, 6-3, and 6-4 in wins.
Hamilton has been pushed harder than in any other season since losing the title to then-Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016.
Now, Verstappen wants to take the F1 crown from Hamilton and prevent him from becoming the first driver with eight titles.(AP)

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