Max Verstappen Lando Norris
Max Verstappen Lando Norris Source: The SportsRush

Max Verstappen needed to win in Imola to get back to winning ways. He lost to his good friend Lando Norris in the Miami Grand Prix. Albeit, he was happy for his friend winning his maiden Grand Prix, the Dutch racer was looking for redemption. He has already lost two races this year. Clearly, the reigning triple-time champion did not have the most dominant start to a season like he did last year. In 2023, the Red Bull superstar went on to win an unbelievable record 19 races. God knows how many races he will win this year. Nevertheless, he is off to a great start.

Before the Miami GP, he had won four races. Hence, he was looking for his fifth win this year in Imola. Eventually, Max Verstappen won the race by a whisker. He beat McLaren’s Lando Norris very narrowly. However, it was not a smooth ride for the Dutch racer in Imola. He had to encounter some hostile fans. There was a fan who showed him the middle finger. In reply, the reigning champion showed the finger as well. 


Max Verstappen Says It Is Easy To Be Rude To Drivers, But He Can Be Not Nice Too 

Max Verstappen Red Bull
Max Verstappen Red Bull Source: Sky Sports

During the Qualifying session in Imola, Max Verstappen had to encounter some rude fans. However, it is not something new to the reigning three-time champion. There have been a lot of fans who had problems with the Dutch racer dominating the grid since 2021. Moreover, what happened in Abu Dhabi back in 2021 was another key factor for the fans turning up against the Red Bull superstar. It was under highly controversial circumstances that Max was able to beat the then-reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton. Since then, Max Verstappen has faced a lot of these moments when fans have booed him. But in Imola last weekend, a fan was being really rude, giving him the finger. That’s when Max Verstappen showed the fan his middle finger back. Later, in the post-qualifying press conference, the Dutch racer mentioned that he saw a lot of fans clapping, but there was one guy who gave him the finger, so he gave him back.

However, Max saw the next time when he came around, that same guy was clapping. Hence, Verstappen said, “You know, they learn, eventually.” Moreover, Max Verstappen explained the situation, saying that it is easy not to be nice to drivers, “But I can be not nice to you too.” Anyway, the Dutchman said the fan was “A bit higher up.” However, he said it was good that the fan later appreciated it, he thinks. Max Verstappen got pole position in Imola. Oscar Piastri got second place during qualifying. Piastri said the same fan was mean to him as well. He added that the fan wasn’t showing him the middle finger but giving him a thumbs down. Later, Piastri joked saying, “Did he sign with Ferrari, or what?”

How Hard Was The Race In Imola For The Dutch Racer?

Max Verstappen Red Bull
Max Verstappen Red Bull Source: PlanetF1

It was a gap of less than a second between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris on the final race day in Imola. For the past two seasons, the Dutch racer has been dominating the grid. But never did the Red Bull superstar had a more close finish than what happened at the Emilia Romagna GP last weekend. Later, in a post-race interview with Sky Sports, Max mentioned that he had to push flat to try to make a gap. They might have been strong on medium tires. But Max Verstappen said it was more difficult to manage on the hard tires. 

More specifically, Max said the last 10 to 15 laps were really hard. He was sliding a lot as he did not have any grip no more. Then, he saw Norris was closing in. It is always difficult when the tires are not working. The last ten laps as Max says “Were flat out.” Adding to that, Verstappen said he could not afford to make any mistakes in the final 10 laps. And fortunately for Max, Red Bull didn’t make too many mistakes.

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