‘It’s 88 missed podiums!’ Max Verstappen jokes after earning landmark 100th top three finish with victory at Saudi Arabian GP

‘It’s 88 missed podiums!’ Max Verstappen jokes after earning landmark 100th top three finish with victory at Saudi Arabian GP - Motorsport - News

Max Verstappen Claims 100th Career Podium Finish at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: A Dominant Victory and Reflections on Missed Opportunities

Max Verstappen, the Dutch Formula One (F1) racing phenom, achieved a significant milestone at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Saturday by securing his 100th career podium finish in just his 187th race. However, Verstappen being the perfectionist that he is, first drew attention to the grands prix where he did not finish within the top three.

During his post-race interview with a reporter, Verstappen humorously remarked, “It’s 88 missed podiums!” Despite the error in his statement – it should have been 103 instead of 88 – Verstappen was elated about reaching this milestone, but he emphasized his focus on the upcoming races and striving for optimal results.

Verstappen had another impressive weekend in Jeddah as he cruised to victory, more than 13 seconds ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez. Charles Leclerc from Ferrari took the third position. Verstappen has already won the first two races of the 2024 season, with Pérez following him on both occasions in a Red Bull one-two finish. This formidable streak leaves Verstappen as the clear favorite to win his fourth consecutive F1 world championship.

Verstappen expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, acknowledging that he felt good in the car during both qualifying and the race: “Overall, it was a fantastic weekend for the entire team, and I was really happy with how things went.”

The tranquility on the track in contrasted sharply with the controversy that surrounded Red Bull at the beginning of the season. The team suspended a female employee following allegations of inappropriate behavior by team principal Christian Horner, which gained media attention. Red Bull launched an independent investigation into the matter after these allegations surfaced in February, but Horner was later cleared of wrongdoing last week and denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Oliver Bearman, a talented teenager, made his F1 debut in place of Carlos Sainz, who had been diagnosed with appendicitis earlier. Bearman finished an impressive seventh place and expressed his feelings about the race: “I felt destroyed physically after the race.”

The young driver struggled with the uncomfortable seats, acknowledging that they required fine-tuning. Despite the challenges, Bearman maximized his performance and put in a commendable showing against more experienced drivers like Fernando Alonso and George Russell.

Several other notable finishes included McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in fourth, Fernando Alonso taking fifth for Aston Martin, and George Russell finishing sixth for Mercedes. Lando Norris claimed eighth place for McLaren, while Lewis Hamilton finished ninth, and Haas driver Niko Hulkenberg took the final points in 10th position.

With Verstappen’s remarkable dominance this season, the F1 community is eager to see how long his winning streak will continue and if he can secure another world championship title.