Fernando Alonso is impressed by Max Verstappen, who today expressed his admiration for the Spanish driver, and how he is approaching the title fight. The two-time world champion also sees similarities:“ At the time, the stands in Barcelona were blue, now orange in Zandvoort.”
In Istanbul, Max Verstappen received a question from a young fan at the press conference: who would he cheer for if he wasn’t in Formula 1 himself? “I would probably be Fernando Alonso, I like his style,” replied the Dutchman, who has often expressed his admiration for the Spaniard and vice versa.
Moments later it was Alonso’s turn to join and give his reaction to Verstappen’s comment. “I’m glad to hear that,” Alonso says. “I said at the beginning of the championship that George (Russell, ed.) and Max left the most impression. I turned on my TV for them,” said the Spaniard about his F1-less 2019 and 2020. He continues: “They gave something extra, so I turned on the TV. So I’m happy to hear that from Max,” said Alonso.
Verstappen is in an intense title battle with Lewis Hamilton. The difference is only two points with seven races to go, although Verstappen seems to be keeping himself reasonably cool. He said the championship would not change his life: “I enjoy what I do and I don’t worry too much about it.” Alonso also notes that the Dutchman looks very relaxed. “He seems to handle the pressure better than others,” he says. “Everyone is different, but for him it doesn’t seem to be a problem. He takes it race by race. That’s the right approach for the next races.”
Alonso was 24 when he battled for his first world title against none other than seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. So those are already two similarities, since Verstappen is now 24 and is up against a seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. Alonso was then one of the greatest Spanish sports heroes and could count on a lot of support from the stands. Alonso also sees similarities with Verstappen in that area. “At the time, the full stands in Barcelona turned blue, now orange in Zandvoort. So there are a lot of similarities this year. We’ll see where he ends up,” Alonso concluded.