‘Let’s face it’: Ex-F1 champion’s Sergio Perez message about Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen will match Sebastian Vettel's record of nine consecutive wins if he wins the 2023 Dutch GP.

1978 Formula 1 World Champion and racing legend Mario Andretti believes Max Verstappen isn’t damaging the sport’s popularity in the United States, where it’s currently booming.

Verstappen is in a complete league of his own currently, with the Dutchman having won 10 of the 12 completed races in 2023.

Eight of those wins have come in the last eight races, putting him on the brink of matching a record set by Sebastian Vettel.

Should the reigning World Champion win the Dutch Grand Prix next weekend, then he’d match Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row, something Verstappen is expected to do.

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Nobody can stop the 25-year-old currently, who’s built a 125-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship as a result.

His success has come with backlash though, with many believing that Verstappen’s superiority is harming the sport’s popularity.

Andretti doesn’t believe this in the slightest, at least when it comes to the United States which is continuing to see record attendances and TV viewership.

The racing legend believes Verstappen is “spectacular” given the way he’s performing whilst being “under a lot of pressure”, due to being Red Bull’s lead driver.

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Andretti thinks there isn’t “anything more” somebody could want from the Red Bull star, who is rising to every challenge.

“All you have to do is look at the record and how he has matured in a short period of time, quite honestly,” Andretti told RacingNews365.

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“He is carrying that mantle quite superbly, he is under a lot of pressure – of course, everyone is – but there are no mistakes.

“Right now, he’s been challenged, no question. It is not easy.

“Let’s face it, his team-mate Sergio Perez is a really good driver, he has shown his abilities but Max is number one in the team and you have to support that.

“But at the same time, he has shown he can rise to any occasion under any circumstance and I don’t think you could expect or want anything more from a driver. So right now, I look at Max Verstappen as being absolutely spectacular.”