Despite a bad weekend for Verstappen, foreign media raved: ‘That was monstrous’

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Despite a bad weekend for Verstappen, foreign media raved: 'That was monstrous'

Max Verstappen dropped out of a Formula 1 race for the first time in two years last weekend. The Red Bull Racing driver himself did little wrong in Australia, but the Dutchman did not have to count on a ten from the foreign media this weekend. Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, received that grade for his phenomenal performance at the Albert Park Circuit.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy) – 8

It doesn’t happen often these days, but last weekend Verstappen was not the first to cross the finish line. In fact, the reigning world champion’s race was over after just a few laps. The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport could not give the Dutchman a 10, but was nevertheless full of praise for the Dutchman’s performance during the rest of the weekend in Australia. “If he (Verstappen, ed.) has a problem, then Red Bull will not win,” was the harsh conclusion that the sports newspaper drew. ‘This shows how important Verstappen is for Red Bull. His pole lap in Albert Park was monstrous,” writes La Gazzetta, which rewarded Verstappen with an 8.

There was a 10 for Sainz, by the way. The Spaniard gave Ferrari its first victory of the season. Now that may not even be the most special thing about the story, but the way he did it certainly was. “From a hospital bed to the highest step of the podium,” writes the Italian sports medium. ‘The Spaniard is the hero of the day. Consistent, fast and polished, he has the ability to give everything almost all the time, which is also an incentive for Leclerc. His personal revenge is also a response to Ferrari’s decision not to confirm the driver,” La Gazzetta believes.

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According to the Italian sports medium, Verstappen’s failure in Australia shows how dependent Red Bull is on the Dutchman.

The Race (Great Britain) – 4th place

According to Edd Straw of The Race, Verstappen’s early retirement meant that the three-time world champion could not make much of an impression in Melbourne and that is why the British journalist could not award the Red Bull driver more than fourth place. ‘This was another one of those weekends where the weakness of Red Bull, which has difficulty warming up the front tires, could have caused Verstappen problems. But that didn’t happen,” says Straw, who realizes very well that Verstappen could do nothing about the DNF.

‘It wasn’t until Q3 that everything came together for what he called an ‘unexpected pole position’ and unfortunately, through no fault of his own, his race was ruined by a stuck rear right brake caliper. An early failure limited the impression he could make,” Straw explains his choice to award Verstappen fourth place in his ranking. Unsurprisingly, first place went to race winner Sainz, with Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris completing the top three.

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Through no fault of his own, Verstappen soon finished in Melbourne.

Motorsport (Great Britain) – 7

Autosport awarded only one 10 this time and that figure went to Sainz. Verstappen received ‘only’ a 7 from the British medium, which explains why. ‘This figure is mainly based on his performances in the other sessions. His late excursion in FP1 caused damage to the floor in a weekend when Red Bull desperately needed track time due to the problems. He (Verstappen) turned things around well. Regular tire pressure adjustments and a larger front wing helped him on his pole lap, where some improvements in the third sector in Q3 were key. That was his highlight, because a brake problem immediately ruined his race,” said Autosport, which hit out hard at Fernando Alonso.

The British medium thinks the Spaniard’s performance is only worth a 3 and he also seems to be blamed for his part in George Russell’s crash. “Turn six sums up his bad weekend well,” writes Autosport. ‘A mistake on his first run in Q3 caused floor damage and robbed him of his confidence later in qualifying, with Stroll finishing ahead of him. He took advantage of his choice to start on the hard tire and gained ground by stopping during the virtual safety car, after which he outpaced Russell. His mistake in braking too early for turn six on the penultimate lap, a legitimate tactic by the race driver, meant he was penalized,” the British outlet said.

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Despite a bad weekend for Verstappen, foreign media raved: 'That was monstrous'
Fernando Alonso was not only punished by the race management afterwards.

Auto, Motor, und Sport (Germany) – 9

For the first time in a long time, Verstappen was not in the spotlight after the Grand Prix. Auto, Motor, und Sport also paid little attention to the Dutchman, whose race was over after just three laps due to a problem with the brake caliper. Although the reigning world champion receives a 9, there is no explanation for this figure.

This time, the German medium has chosen to pay full attention to Sainz, who won the Australian Grand Prix in an equally surprising and convincing manner. ‘From the hospital to the podium’, Auto, Motor, und Sport headlines, almost the same words as La Gazzetta. ‘It sounds like a miracle: sixteen days before the race in Melbourne, Sainz was still on the operating table with appendicitis. Now he is the winner of the Australian GP. In the second lap the still recovering Sainz Verstappen flew past. Then he controlled the race. Okay, Verstappen dropped out, but the Dutchman would have had a hard time against Sainz in this top form even without material problems,” said the German medium.

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