‘Max Verstappen is a sympathetic super talent’
Pieter-Christiaan is Prince of Orange-Nassau and fan of F1:
‘Years ago I participated in a commercial for Jos Verstappen’s fan club. Three people were stopped by the police for speeding: one in a built-up area, one on a country road – that was me – and one on the highway. At the end Jos raced past.
“The commercial was broadcast once, I believe on RTL4. Fortunately I was not recognized, because it could have been quite a hassle. Participating in a commercial is not done. I looked that day with squeezing buttocks.
„As a boy I read magazines like German that car and when I was a student I got my racing license in a 1972 Renault Fuego. A touring car is different from a Formula 1 car. I was there once: in a two-seater with Robert Doornbos on the Assen circuit.
“Max Verstappen is a sympathetic super talent. The fact that he had a bit of a hard time in the last races makes it incredibly exciting. Everything stands or falls with a good strategy and a good starting position. I watch the race at home with my son and daughter. If he wins, I’ll open a bottle of bubbly.”
Stephane Kox (27):
‘We know each other from the kart circuit, often drove on the same track in Genk’
Stéphane Kox is Formula 1 pit reporter at Viaplay:
‘Through my father, professional driver Peter Kox, I came into contact with racing. I also did horse riding for a while, but racing suited me better. First in a kart, now for years in a car. ‘Just try it,’ my father had said. Driving on the limit, that’s the kick for me. You constantly try to push your limits, knowing that if you exceed them, things can go very wrong.
“I did make clappers, yes. The worst was when a brake disc exploded. I flew into the wall at 170 kilometers per hour. The cars are designed to withstand such blows, but your guts can be seriously damaged. However, I was able to go home after one night in the hospital. It was a miracle that I wasn’t wrong, the doctor said.
“I will continue to race in 2022, although it will be a busy year as a pit reporter. I have pushed forward the master that I would do after my bachelor’s degree in law. When I do something, I want to do it right.
“I will meet Max again. We know each other from the kart circuit, often drove on the same track in Genk. Was he really a little man? The nice thing is that I was able to follow his development closely. What he does is still special.”
Bart Chabot (67):
‘It will be cool frog Verstappen against cunning fox Hamilton’
Bart Chabot is author/regular guest Formula 1 Café Ziggo Sport:
‘My father introduced me to racing. I was eight or nine when we went to Zandvoort. Dad had arranged a ticket for the courtyard. Childlike amazement all around.
“As a child my mother lived in Maarn. Carel Godin de Beaufort, the first Dutch Formula 1 driver, lived nearby. The esquire tore through the streets in his Porsche on Sunday after the race, my mother told me. Local residents loved it so much that they put folding chairs along the road to watch the spectacle.
“I passed on the love for Formula 1 to my four sons. Three of them will watch the game in New York on Sunday. The fourth, Maurits, goes with Yolanda and me to a hotel to celebrate our wedding anniversary. If Max wins, we open a nice bottle of champagne. If he doesn’t become a champion, he will be of a lesser quality. Ever since Hamilton knocked him out at full speed at Silverstone – a life-threatening maneuver – Max has been the moral winner for me.
“It will be cool frog Verstappen against cunning fox Hamilton. In other words: the punk rocker against the established superpowers. Before the season I said to my family: Max will be world champion. I will stick to that.”
Debby Gerritsen (43):
‘I also get a kick out of driving fast’
Debby Gerritsen is a journalist, podcast and magazine maker:
“I’ve been a Formula 1 fan all my life. It started when I was about ten years old. On Sunday we could choose at home: help mom in the kitchen or Studio Sports watching with daddy on the couch. Well, I didn’t have to think long about that.
“At the start of Formula 1, my heart rate goes up. I already had that as a girl. The engines start and then that roaring sound – magical. I also get a kick out of riding fast. I once rode my motorcycle to the south of France in one day.
“My father was the workshop manager in a garage. He has often tried to explain to me how an engine works, but that is not possible for me. I don’t know much about technology, but I love the speed and romance that surrounds Formula 1. I would prefer to work as a pitch reporter for a year.
“I’m just sitting at home in front of the tube this weekend. Friends are allowed to watch, as long as they keep their mouths shut. I also text a lot with my father – ‘is your heart still working?’ – and afterwards we analyze the race.”
Luna Flower (19):
‘I watch all Formula 1 matches’
Luna Bloem is Dutch karting champion 2021:
“I was eight when I first got into a kart. We were on holiday in Gran Canaria with the family. My dad used to do motocross, so that seemed like a fun outing. Well, I was immediately sold.
“Not long after that I got a children’s kart. I started training and competing and became champion at the Dutch National Championships for the first time this year. Because of that victory I can participate in the World Cup, this weekend in Bahrain, not far from where Verstappen is doing his laps. In between the acts I will of course follow his race.
“A lot of people ask: are you going to drive Formula 1? I have to laugh about that, because that is a completely different branch of sport. I am also quite busy with my HBO management training. I want to take over my parents’ car body shop.
“I watch all Formula 1 races. Preferably live, but if I have to drive myself, afterwards. Since Max, the tension has increased. He is stubborn, makes his own plan and does not always follow the directions of his team. Rather than finish second behind Hamilton, he retires after giving his all.”
Jeroen van Inkel (60):
‘In my view he is a product of his father and of his own talent and perseverance’
Jeroen van Inkel is presenter of the weekend show Rinkeldekinkel on Radio 2:
‘I love cars. Perhaps because I grew up in a family without a car. At home we did everything by bicycle. Now I just take the car for everything. Formula 1 has always attracted me. As a child I was sitting in front of the TV when Roger Williamson was killed in an accident at Zandvoort. Tragic, but impressive. Precisely in the danger of the gym for me the magic.
“Later I started collecting F1 helmets. Here in my study there are six. Seven more in the storage room. Most have been worn by F1 drivers. I came into contact with them through commentator Olav Mol and so I was able to rustle up a bit. Also that of Jos Verstappen. I’ve been to his wedding. Also have Max’s birth announcement card here. I cherish it, you understand that.
“In my view, he is a product of his father and of his own talent and perseverance. Put photos from the past few years side by side and you’ll see it grow. He got wider, got beard growth, a thicker neck. And he perfected his attitude: ‘Don’t make me lukewarm’.
„I always watched F1, but since ‘Max’ my two daughters and sons-in-law also watch. We then have five screens on: the TV for the race, plus two tablets for lap times and two for the onboard cams from Max and Lewis.”
Jorgen Raymann (55):
‘They are top athletes who risk their lives at speeds of 360 kilometers per hour’
Jörgen Raymann is a comedian:
‘Chauvinism, that’s how my love for Formula 1 started. A Dutchman who didn’t even have his driver’s license when he was already driving in F1, I wanted to see more of that. And so I kept looking. Alone, because my wife and daughters don’t like it ten times. Fortunately I can text with a friend in Suriname during the race. We are race buddies.
“You sometimes hear that F1 is an inaccessible rich man’s sport, where they only drive in circles. But most of all I have respect for the drivers. They are top athletes who risk their lives at speeds of 360 kilometers per hour. Total concentration for two hours. Let’s just enjoy that. Most people today have trouble watching a five-minute YouTube video.
“I also give Lewis Hamilton the world title. Slightly less than Max, but when I see how socially involved he is, with his rainbow helmet, his commitment to Black Lives Matter and comments about Saudi Arabia and Qatar… Max could learn a lot from that. Maybe that has to do with age too. Lewis has been around for a while, although I sometimes think with him: don’t sit too bitch.”
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