Dutch fans desperate for someone to challenge Max Verstappen, pundit claims

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen holds the Dutch flag after winning. Netherlands September 2022

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen holds the Dutch flag after winning. Netherlands September 2022

A Dutch pundit has implored Red Bull’s rivals to improve and put up more of a fight to runaway championship leader Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman is already in full control of the title race having won the last four races and in possession of a 69-point lead at the top of the standings.

It is not the first year of Verstappen dominance either with the Red Bull man winning 15 of 22 races in 2022, a record for the most victories in a single season.

But you would think such dominance would be enjoyed by Verstappen’s loyal home following but one Dutch pundit actually said people in the Netherlands want to see their favourite son given more of a battle.

Tim Coronel, twin brother of Tom, described the Canadian Grand Prix as “boring” and stated he wanted some more competition.

“Only in the midfield something happened,” he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.

“Max was just controlling, I thought that was mighty nice to see. Very nice for Red Bull to tick off that 100th win, in the process for Max to match [Ayrton] Senna with that 41st.

“But can I be honest? As an audience, I thought it went too easily for Max. I am waiting for battle. All the Netherlands and all the world may be waiting for battle right now.

“When will someone challenge Max? It’s nice that Mercedes has speed again. So I hope the others will pick up some speed as well.”

There was a slight moment of concern late on in the race when Verstappen took a corner too aggressively and rode over the kerb, almost having a similar incident to George Russell, but rather than be stressed about it, Verstappen took to the radio to laugh it off.

“F**k, I almost knocked myself out on that kerb, haha!” he told his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

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Coronel believes that to react like that shows how calm he is and how he is “a real sportsman.”

“[It was] magically beautiful to see that he still has so much left in his head,” he said. “First of all, let’s say he made a mistake. Actually, he was laughing at himself a bit: ‘Kid, stay alert pal. It does seem to go so easily, but this is not quite the way to go!’

“If you then start laughing, you see that he is a real sportsman who gets the most out of himself. Nice to see on the one hand, but I want others to be there more.”