Tom Coronel enjoyed Max Verstappen’s qualifying round, which allowed the Dutchman to secure pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. As a result, Lewis Hamilton starts second next to Verstappen. Many fans from the Netherlands are present in Abu Dhabi to closely follow Verstappen’s actions. If Verstappen finishes ahead of Hamilton, he will be world champion for the first time in his career.
‘What a bastard, not normal’, Coronel begins in conversation with Ziggo Sport. “Everyone went crazy here. You saw that in Q3 Lewis had already lost one and a half to two tenths in the first and second sectors. Then you know he’s not going to make it. But it was actually visible. In Q1, when I saw that Max was in four thousandths, you can see that it was closer than the last races before, I notice that.’
‘This first pounder is important’
Nevertheless, Coronel tries to look realistically at the state of affairs. There is a difference in tire choice between Verstappen and Hamilton. “Lewis went on the yellow tire in Q2 of course and Max on the red tire so there is still a difference in the start of the race. There Max has the soft tire and Lewis can go a little longer. It was very exciting, but this first smasher is in any case important.’
‘This one certainly surprised me’, Coronel continues. “I just see that the Mercedes is a bit faster, constantly actually. Then you see that Max just does it again. It’s that biting instinct again. I always say he eats the dashboard out and you just see it. When he has to do it, it happens anyway. That is also the tension you always feel with him. At Jeddah you saw that it was just a mistake and here it went well.’
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Coronel present in Abu Dhabi
Coronel himself is present in Abu Dhabi on the circuit. “The tension is completely different. I run up and down all the time because I want to see the times. That F1 app is always 20 seconds late, it really freaks me out. I just have to see that, because when the first sector is over it will come along here and I don’t know if it’s purple. Then I run upstairs and they drive me crazy. But this one is good, this one is really seriously tasty, because I didn’t see it coming.’
As a result, there is also more hope for the chances for a Dutch world title in Formula 1. ‘It feels better than the last two or three races. Now all at once I get a little hope again. There are really a lot of Dutch people here, it’s really not normal. This is what we all do it for, this is just the Max factor. The tension is always completely on the limit, he just pulls it off’, Coronel concludes.
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