Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
09 May
Next event in
62 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
101 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
118 days
18 Jul
Race in
136 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
209 days
10 Oct
Race in
219 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
234 days
31 Oct
Race in
241 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
261 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
276 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Analysis: Max-Mania at Spa as F1 turns orange

Formula 1 hasn't seen anything like this for a long time: the near sell-out crowd at the Belgian Grand Prix has been gripped by Max Verstappen fever.

Analysis: Max-Mania at Spa as F1 turns orange
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Flags for Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12 fans set off flares
Fans and a flag for Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Fans and a flag for Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing signs autographs for the armed guards
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12

Packed campsites, long traffic jams, queues of fans at the gates, Dutch flags, orange shirts, and the odd smoke bomb have shown that 'Max Mania' is a force that has left everyone in grand prix racing buzzing.

 

An estimated 25,000 Dutch fans have flocked to Spa-Francorchamps to cheer on the 18-year-old and Verstappen's fan clubs are riding the wave the young Dutchman's spectacular arrival onto the F1 scene has delivered.

Bas van Bodegraven, founder of the GoMax fanclub, told Motorsport.com: "It's unreal. I hoped we'd get to 50,000 members this weekend but we've already surpassed that."

His club has had a regular presence at several grands prix, cheering on Verstappen to his maiden victory with Red Bull at May's Spanish Grand Prix. At the German GP, Dutch supporters took over a grandstand section with their orange attire.

"We would like to do that again at several tracks, but we'll have to find out if that's legally possible. We keep sending our GoMax flag with fans who travel to the races, so it's at every European Grand Prix.

"The best thing is organising events like these, so people can meet each other face to face, rather than just on Facebook. The bigger, the better. Our dream is for Max to come and meet with us. If we can organise that, we will have thousands of people."

For Van Bodegraven, who imports classic cars for a living, running the fan club has taken over his entire life.

"When Max won in Barcelona, I spent 18 to 19 hours a day running the club, for three straight weeks. I'm hoping to become a travel guide, so I can travel to the races with a nice group of fans. That would be a great career switch."

With hordes of Dutch fans taking over Spa-Francorchamps and Verstappen starting from the front row, a victory for the Dutchman would cause unprecedented scenes at the Belgian Ardennes.

"It would be a huge party, both here and back home," Van Bodegraven predicts. "It sounds strange, but that's why I won't be there. It will be mayhem on the group and we need people to moderate it.

"Me and my colleague will be at home to manage everything. At least there we'll have a solid internet connection…"

But has Verstappen fever, and the fan boost it has delivered at Spa, helped secure the future of the Belgian GP – especially with the event likely to have home hero Stoffel Vandoorne racing next year?

"We really think so," added van Bodegraven. "All tickets apart from bronze are sold out. And we should be happy about that, because I think this is the most beautiful circuit in the world.

"It would be great if Stoffel Vandoorne joined next year. There is no such thing as a Belgium-Holland rivalry. This isn't football after all."

shares
comments
Spa installs new kerb for Belgian GP race

Previous article

Spa installs new kerb for Belgian GP race

Next article

Ferrari heading for another weekend of 'what might have been' as Marchionne demands results?

Ferrari heading for another weekend of 'what might have been' as Marchionne demands results?
Load comments
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021