Max Verstappen branded ‘biggest risk’ to F1 boom over alarming reception

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen’s trophy cabinet has got a lot bigger this season.

Max Verstappen has been described as “the biggest risk” to the Formula 1 business by a leading research analyst.

The Red Bull driver’s domination of the last two seasons is far from what the Drive to Survive era of fans were promised and a long way away from the highly competitive 2021 title fight.

To that extent, a research analyst has described Verstappen as “the biggest risk” to Liberty Media’s Formula 1 empire.

Max Verstappen’s hatred of the limelight a ‘risk’ to F1

In contrast to many other World Champions, Verstappen is not one to seek out the limelight. Instead of attending high profile events and hanging out with celebrities, Verstappen’s prefers the surroundings of his Monaco home where he can spend time with family and take part in sim races.

“I have no desire to be able to hang out with famous movie stars,” he told TIME magazine.

“I watch other sports, but there’s nothing really that I’m really passionate about.”

Verstappen’s devotion to racing has seen his girlfriend Kelly Piquet become surrogate childminder at times.

“There have been times where I’ve been like, ‘OK, time to switch off,’” Piquet said. “You have to give a gentle reminder that the sun is shining outside and, you know, there are other things to do.”

Verstappen’s performance on track which has seen him win 17 races of 20 so far this year has also led to a reported drop in the number of fans watching the sport. recommends

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So with Red Bull and Verstappen’s dominance likely to continue, Barton Crockett, a senior research analyst for Rosenblatt Securities who covers Liberty Media, F1’s parent company, believes he poses a threat to the sport’s expansion.

“As great as Verstappen is, right now he looks like the biggest risk to the business,” Crockett said.

But it is not as if F1’s popularity has fallen off a cliff. It brought in $2.57 billion in revenue last year, up 44% since 2017 and Las Vegas projects 105,000 spectators for each of the event’s three nights.

It has also been predicted to bring a bigger economic impact than the Super Bowl held in the same city next year.

Verstappen though is unfazed by the suggestion that domination leads to less interest.

“The NBA survived when the Chicago Bulls were dominating,” he says. “At the time, or even afterwards, people are like, ‘Oh, that was amazing.’ If you are a real fan of the sport, you should be able to appreciate a team doing very well.”

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