After the debacle in Belgium, the F1 teams are allowed to make the 300 kilometer trip to Circuit Zandvoort for the GP of the Netherlands. Max Verstappen will be welcomed there by an army of Orange fans – although Norris will claim they are there for McLaren. Verstappen’s great rival Lewis Hamilton is generally less popular with the Orange Legion. Still, Robert Doornbos hopes that the fans will not rage against Hamilton at Zandvoort.
A positive welcome
Doornbos tells TopGear: ‘I can only hope for a positive reception for Hamilton at Zandvoort. In the end you are in a beautiful battle with only three points difference. The fans just have to respect the sport that is now in the Netherlands and enjoy it when the men race wheel to wheel. You can also hear booing in a football stadium, but that is quite different from men who risk their lives at 300 km/h. When someone drives a great race – like Hamilton in Budapest – you have to clap and not shout ‘boo’.’
He continues: ‘Look, when Hamilton drives off Verstappen, I understand that people are going to scream. Then I will too, first. But I think you have to respect the sport and the performance. Of course Max has the home advantage and everyone cheers for Verstappen. That does not save Max any extra time, but for the party it is extra fun if you can win your home race. You could see that in Lewis winning his home race at Silverstone.’
Will Verstappen behave differently?
Incidentally, Doornbos does not think that Verstappen will behave very differently after the home game. ‘Max won’t cheer so euphorically, but I think that’s also Max’s strength this year. Just like this weekend, he parks his car, says what to say and takes his points.’