F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Max Verstappen heaped praise on Honda as Red Bull look to pressure Mercedes in the 2021 world championship fight. The Belgian Grand Prix signals the end of the F1 summer break, and the race kicks off a triple-header with trips to the Netherlands and Italy to follow.
Verstappen is clearly ready to return to action, and he gave some insight into how he spent his break.
Writing in Red Bull racing’s preview, the Dutchman said: “It was nice to have a few weeks off to rest a bit and, of course, it was cool to spend some time on the jet skis, it’s really nice to be on the water!”
“It’s a lot of races in a row but it’s the same for everyone and there are a lot of nice tracks coming up to look forward to.”
Formula 1 returns to Belgium this weekend, and Spa-Francorchamps is one of Verstappen’s favourite tracks.
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The 23-year-old is famously a fan of classic tracks compared to the street circuits on which his Red Bull is traditionally at its peak.
“It’s really cool to drive with so many fast corners and elevation changes,” Verstappen added.
The Dutchman is currently second in the Drivers’ World Championship, trailing Lewis Hamilton by eight points after a pair of frustrating showings at Silverstone and the Hungaroring.
He sees Spa as the perfect site to get his challenge back on track, particularly with fans back in the stands supporting Red Bull.
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Verstappen famously has a passionate army of his fans that follow the F1 circus around the world, painting each circuit in Dutch orange.
“It will be cool to see so much orange in the stands again because last year they couldn’t be there,” he added.
“I also think it’s a good place to revisit our battle for the championship and I’m well prepared and feeling good for the weekend.”
This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix will be a special occasion for Verstappen and his team – the 50th Grand Prix alongside Honda.
The Dutchman has always been a vocal supporter of the Japanese manufacturer, and he cited their first win together at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix as his favourite highlight.
“That will always be the most emotional memory of our time together and hopefully we can end this season with them on a high before they leave the sport,” Verstappen said.
“They have always been straightforward and delivered what we expected.
“They spend a lot of time discussing everything with the team and us as drivers and that has been very important.”
Honda will leave Formula 1 at the end of the season due to their commitments to environmental initiatives, which is one of the manufacturer’s top priorities.
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