With two Grand Prix weekends to go, Max Verstappen already knows that with his seventeenth victory of the season he will achieve the highest winning percentage ever. In addition, he was largely responsible for Red Bull Racing being able to tighten Mercedes’ points record from 2016, and it was therefore not entirely surprising that he again only received tens and nines from the foreign media.
Auto, Motor, und Sport (Germany) – 10
“We are used to the Verstappen show by now,” opens journalist Michael Schmidt of the German Auto Motor und Sport. ‘Verstappen showed no mercy. In Brazil he fourth with his seventeenth victory of the season and his fourth sprint race victory. Only pole position in the Sprint Shootout and the fastest lap went to someone else. Lando Norris was the only one who could keep up with Verstappen, and yet he only gets a 9’, says Schmidt, who, in addition to Verstappen, also awarded a 10 to Fernando Alonso.
According to Schmidt, Norris was not entirely flawless. ‘After taking pole position in the Sprint Shootout, Verstappen outsmarted him again in the first corner 195 meters later. His start in the Grand Prix was also not great. In addition, he should have been more careful in warming up the tires in Q3. Verstappen was also less in the queue, but made his way past the other cars at the pit exit.’
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy) – 10
‘The Grand Prix in Brazil let star Max Verstappen shine again, where he dominated for Norris. On the podium was an exceptional Alonso, who received the highest rating, with Pérez in fourth. Ferrari already lost Charles Leclerc in the warm-up lap. Sainz saved the honor and took four points away from Mercedes in the constructors’ championship,” according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Italian newspaper then turned its attention back to race winner Verstappen, in contrast to the direction. ‘It is the loneliness of the eternal number 1, who at one point was ignored by the cameras. It is impossible to say what should be adored most: his performance, his ability to never make a mistake, or his motivation,” is said of Verstappen, who won for the fifteenth time in fourteen races. In addition to Verstappen, Alonso also received a 10 in Italy, while Norris received a 9.5. Sergio Pérez received a 6.
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The Race (Great Britain) – 2nd
Journalist Edd Straw from The Race does not hand out grades to the drivers, but ranks them from best to worst. Verstappen scored second place, and only had to tolerate Aston Martin driver Alonso in front of him. “Verstappen’s weekend was flawless as always, except for missing out on pole position in the sprint race, thanks to a few small moments with the rear of the car,” Straw praises the 52-time Grand Prix winner.
Straw adds that the Dutchman never lost control of the races for a moment. ‘He handled the murky Q3 conditions well to take pole position for the Grand Prix, and in the sprint race he took the lead at the start and controlled the race afterwards. He repelled Norris’s early attack in the Grand Prix. Many drivers would have had to work harder for that,” says Straw, who concludes with a conclusion: “The only minor downside was missing out on the sprint pole.
Motorsport – 9
The British Autosport also awarded a 10 twice, but Verstappen had to settle for a 9. ‘The disappearance of Leclerc made the action-packed start easier, and at the second start the second part of his start made the difference, while Norris had wheelspin. He was then somewhat surprised by Norris who came closer and suddenly attacked, while Verstappen wanted to calmly enter his first stints on soft tires. He retained the lead by using his battery cleverly, after which he opened a gap. Then he checked in 2023 as always.”
Verstappen received a 9.45 from the readers of Autosport. The other podium customers, Alonso and Norris, both received a 10 from Autosport itself, and also received higher ratings from the reader. Alonso received by far the highest average with a 9.82, while Norris scored marginally higher than the Red Bull Racing driver with 9.47.