“They Have Nothing to Lose”: Max Verstappen Recalls Nightmare When Fernando Alonso Left Him Shaking

The 2023 season has been the stuff of dreams for Max Verstappen, as Red Bull appeared to be holding back against the grid from the get-go. With their lightning-fast pace, they had created a nearly perfect car. It’s only fitting for the man who brought the team back to its glory days. The 23-year-old won his third consecutive World Championship title in Qatar a week ago. Out of 17 races, the Dutch Lion has risen to the top of the podium 14 times. Marko’s poster child, Verstappen, looked calm and composed throughout the season. His impressive win streak has broken many records, but it almost came to a halt at his home circuit, Zandvoort.

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It is well-known in the world of motorsport that, when it rains, the experience shines. That’s exactly what Verstappen found out at the Dutch Grand Prix. A race that was supposed to be calm cooked up quite the storm. Verstappen has always been aggressive, never backing down from a challenge. But that was back when he was the one who had nothing to lose. The closest Verstappen came to cracking under pressure was when he had to face what Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had grown to love. The reflection of a charging Fernando Alonso on the side-view mirror.

Max Verstappen reflects on dodging a bullet in Zandvoort


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As the 2023 seasons shift down gears, Verstappen has already won the biggest accolade of the year and has added some impressive records on the side. But things could have ended differently in front of the Orange Army when the rain came pouring at the Dutch Grand Prix. While Verstappen got away brilliantly in the first lap, so did Fernando Alonso.

The Spaniard was looking racy ever since the lights went out. By the end of the first lap, Alonso slotted in comfortably behind Verstappen, but could not keep up with the RB19 duo for long. It was looking like a Red Bull 1-2 finish, but the rain gods had plans of their own. The tricky conditions were proving a handful for most drivers, but not for Alonso, who had nothing to lose but everything to gain.

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Verstappen reflected on this nightmare and was quoted by Crash.net, saying, “The race in Zandvoort, when you’re driving on slicks and it’s raining, and I know of course I normally enjoy driving in the wet, but I also know that I’m leading the championship and if I go off and I’m stuck, you know, you lose a lot of points,”. The championship fight was still young at Zandvoort. Any risk could have put Verstappen’s lead in jeopardy.

via Imago

After winning two championships back to back, Verstappen has become a seasoned driver. “So naturally, you’re always driving a little bit under the limit, but that can be, in a way, dangerous as well. So probably when I was out there on slicks, you feel a bit pressured.” If the same situation arose a few years ago, Verstappen would not have broken a sweat. But with experience, he has grown all the wiser. Fernando Alonso had a terrific drive and put on quite a bit of pressure. Yet Verstappen could hold off the charge, finishing first in front of an adoring home crowd. He also equaled Red Bull’s first star driver, Sebastian Vettel, with 9 consecutive victories in one season.

Time waits for no man but Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso is not just the most experienced driver on the current grid but of all time. He has participated in over 370 Grand Prix since he arrived on the scene with Minardi in 2001. The 43-year-old shows no signs of slowing down, looking to challenge for the title with Aston Martin in 2024. Though he has two world championships, reliability issues have plagued his career throughout.


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Fernando has stood hand in hand with time, witnessing greats come and go. He was on the podium in 2004 when Schumacher achieved 7 wins in a row. He was also on the podium in 2013 when Vettel beat Schumacher’s record with 9 wins in a row. And now, life has come full circle, with Fernando Alonso on the podium as Verstappen beats Vettel’s record for consecutive wins.

The Spaniard is aiming to make up for lost time, as he lost out on his third world championship just a few laps off the finish. His form in 2023 is a good sign of what is in store for Alonso if Aston Martin can provide him with a car to match his pace.


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WATCH THIS STORY: “They Know More About Our Car Than We Do”: Mercedes’ Spooky Radio Message to Lewis Hamilton Left Fernando Alonso & Co. Shell Shocked

2024 is looking to be a good year for Aston Martin. If they can match McLaren’s development next year, they might just be in the title fight together. But with Charles Leclerc and Ferrari itching for a spot back at the top, things are about to get intense!

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