Few things have made as dramatic headlines in the tumultuous world of Formula 1 so far as Leclerc’s rise in Ferrari and Max Verstappen’s 2019 form. At a time where Ferrari have been caught napping, often shooting themselves in the foot, arguably caught up in the built-up pressure owing to Mercedes’ frequent successes, we’ve seen one man take the fight to the lordly Lewis Hamilton. And it’s Max Verstappen, all of 21 and not even 100 Grands Prix old in Formula 1.
Wondering if this is serving Max Verstappen too sugary a salutation?
Here’s a case in point.
If the month-long summer break has refreshed you enough to remember a key fact then, perhaps it makes sense to do an important rewind of what transpired recently.
It was not Lewis Hamilton. It wasn’t Vettel or Leclerc either.
It was Max Verstappen, who won two of the last four Grands Prix and is currently, the number one threat to the dominance of Mercedes, once again, familiar figures out in the front. His instinct for domination has rescued the 2019 season from being a one-way street being utterly dominated by Mercedes into being something of a title tussle which at the wake of another round of wins could involve something desperate from the likes of both Mercedes cars.
In fact, truth be told, Max Verstappen’s 2019 form, as seen in the 12 Grands Prix so far could be likened to that of a gutsy firefighter.
Every time Max Verstappen steps inside his Red Bull, he transforms into an individual who’s keen to put his life on the line to curb the viral, deathly spread of the searing inferno.
In motor-racing lexicon, that raging inferno is the threat of Mercedes.
Only Max seems to have taken the fight to Lewis, so far (Daily Express)
A clear measure of Max Verstappen’s 2019 form, indicative of a menacing run can be understood by his statistical ascendency to both Vettel and Leclerc- who’ve failed to secure a solitary win and his drawing level with Valtteri Bottas (2 wins), who’s driving inarguably the fastest machine there is at the moment.
The way he snatched the lead from Charles Leclerc in the closing stages of the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix- the home race of Red Bull- to take the checkered flag was nothing shy of a herculean effort, considering the Dutchman had to battle two quicker machines in the form of Leclerc’s Ferrari and Hamilton’s Mercedes.
To grab track position in the front is one thing. But to hold on to it until the end requires immense self-belief.
The wheel-to-wheel action at Spielberg unfurled two of Formula 1’s charismatic next-generation stars in whose talents lays the fortune of the sport to forge a bright future.
What Max Verstappen’s 2019 form suggests
Verstappen would eye a podium at Spa (Grand Prix 247)
This is a precious gain for F1 at a time where technology is massively narrating the drama ahead of the drivers in the cars.
As only a few hours separate the first free practice session to go underway at Spa-Francorchamps, marking the resumption of the second half of the season, it was interesting to hear a rejuvenated Max Verstappen’s thoughts.
“Belgium is another home race for me and it’s always great to see so many fans supporting us. It was good to have a break and spend some time away with family and friends before another busy period but I’m refreshed and looking forward to getting started, especially after we had such a great run of results before the break.”
That in the past runs at Spa, Max’s endured mixed fortunes at a track where the Orange Army’s support is nothing shy of stupendous further heightens the prospect to witness something special this weekend in the heart of the Ardennes.
In 2016, Max could clinch only a lowly eleventh at the Belgian Grand Prix, followed by a DNF in 2017 and finally, a third in 2018.
But seeing Max Verstappen’s 2019 form so far, it doesn’t seem that an impressive finish would be too out of sight for the flying Dutchman at Belgium.