“He’s Really on Fire” – Max Verstappen Opens Up on Wanting To Duel With His Friend Fernando Alonso

Published 12/18/2021, 2:40 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez as team principal Christian Horner looks on Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili


There was one man who was a strong supporter on Team Verstappen for the championship- Fernando Alonso. In a recent podcast episode with David Coulthard, Max Verstappen revealed the depths of his friendship with the double champion, and how he hopes to fight with him on the track next year.

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When asked if there was a popular driver with who he resonated, Verstappen named the Spaniard. “At the moment I have a really good friendship with Fernando. Because already when I was go-karting, I really liked his style you know? He’s also that ‘Never give up’ and a real fighter.”

Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 21, 2021 Second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with third placed Alpine’s Fernando Alonso REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool

The praises for Alonso didn’t end there. Looking up to the Alpine driver, Verstappen listed out what he finds admirable in Alonso. “I like his attitude. He’s really on fire. And also his drive and motivation at his age, to still be there in Formula 1 and wanting to be there for a longer time, and he always wants to win. He always wants to do the best. For me, that’s really nice to see.”

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Alonso has had nothing but the same respect towards Verstappen as well. Confident in Max’s ability to win the title, his trust was well paid off. “Max, maybe overall in the year, was driving one step ahead of everyone.”

Max Verstappen hopes to have on-track battles with Fernando Alonso

When asked if he’d be willing to go wheel-to-wheel with his friend, Verstappen’s answer was obvious. “Then, it’s  a different story but we will be respecting each other a lot.”

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Further, the Dutchman heartwarmingly hopes that the future will be kind to Alonso in giving him a car that puts him in front.“I would like to see him back at the front, he really deserves it, and he’s a two-time world champion; but it’s just also really nice to talk to him and see how he thinks about the situations.”

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Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen are now the only two drivers who have managed to dethrone seven-time champions- a feat few can brag about. The Spanish Lion and the Dutch Lion- two of F1’s most glorious defenders- the friendship only seems fitting.

Watch this story: Lewis Hamilton’s Rendezvous in Paris

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Shreya Sanjeev

779 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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