Max Verstappen benefitted from Netherlands’ failure to qualify for the World Cup as he was backed by around 20,000 supporters on his way to victory in Austria.
The Red Bull driver triumphed at his team’s home grand prix and a huge Dutch presence ensured it felt like a local race for Verstappen, too.
Verstappen struggled to be heard above the din as he conducted his track interview, before explaining in the post-race news conference that he felt his country’s World Cup qualification disappointment worked in his favour.
“It’s great to see. Of course we’re not playing in the World Cup, so it’s a bit easier for them to come over here,” he said.
“But it’s great support, the whole weekend. It was amazing to see so much orange. And then if you win the race and see all the fans lining up there, it’s incredible.
Unbelievable! Thank you so much @redbullracing for the amazing car and strategy, and the Orange army for the incredible support This win will stay with me for the rest of my life #unleashthelion #keeppushing #AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/Y2Cub0Rfu3
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 1, 2018
“This is in Austria, which is still 10, 11 hours away from Holland. It’s amazing that they all came over here.”
Verstappen is 53 points off the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings in fifth place and he wants more weekends like this one to close that gap.
“I needed to catch up with the points,” he said. “Today was definitely a very good day for me and I just hope we can continue like this.”
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