Commentator underestimated Verstappen: ‘I was corrected by Palmer’

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Commentator underestimated Verstappen: 'I was corrected by Palmer'

F1TV commentator Alex Jacques saw how Max Verstappen took to the water at Suzuka, where he won for the third year in a row. The Briton hoped for some tension in Japan, but was corrected by colleague Jolyon Palmer. The former Formula 1 driver believed that there was never any conflict.

Verstappen also traveled to Japan in 2023 after a rare defeat. The result was one of the most dominant weekends of the Dutchman’s career, including a memorable pole lap. The lead in qualifying was not too bad this year, but Verstappen walked away with the full prize: pole position, victory, and the point for the fastest lap, as well as the fastest pit stop of the season so far.

Palmer already knew what time it was

Commentator Jacques also looked on with admiration. “We knew he would hit back after Australia,” he says in the F1 Nation podcast. ‘As soon as he took off on that second start and got out of DRS distance, it was over. I also said that during the broadcast, but then I was corrected by Jolyon Palmer,” laughs Jacques, who, according to Palmer, failed Verstappen. “He said it was over from the moment he showed up here on Thursday. Verstappen loves this place. He reached his highest level here, and that was another performance that destroyed the rest.’

Jacques must admit that the other Red Bull Racing driver also did very well. “Given the recent history we were a bit surprised that Sergio Pérez was so close behind him, but he simply understands this year’s car much, much better than last year’s. He does not lose his way in terms of adjustment, as happened often on Friday last year. He now looks more like the driver we know from 2021 or 2022 than the driver who often did not make it to Q3,” the commentator believes.

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verstappen perez qualifying japan
Verstappen and Pérez have both started the season strongly.

According to Jacques, Pérez would no longer focus on the world title. ‘I think he has chosen a different attitude. He is no longer so concerned with Verstappen. The desperation and the urge to perform immediately in the first free practice have disappeared. If he focuses on himself, he will be fine,” Jacques predicts.

Striking trend

‘To be honest, there is no better motivation in Formula 1 than the risk of losing your job. Just look at the drivers who are doing well now’, Jacques points to three different drivers. ‘All drivers who are now doing better than last year have already been kicked out, or are at risk of doing so. Carlos Sainz is in the form of his life and is kicked out. Yuki Tsunoda started the season under pressure, and there were rumors about Liam Lawson. Yuki handled it brilliantly, and even Yuki didn’t expect to be 4-0 up against Daniel Ricciardo. I think this happened to Checo too.’

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