Formula 1: Max Verstappen enters unfamiliar territory

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

Silverstone Circuit is one of just three circuits where Max Verstappen failed to win in both the 2021 and 2022 Formula 1 seasons.

Just three tracks which appeared on the Formula 1 schedule in both 2021 and 2022 did not see two-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen win in either season.

One of those tracks is scheduled to host this Sunday’s race, with the Red Bull driver set to enter the weekend on his second ever five-race winning streak.

Silverstone Circuit is the site of many recent unpleasant memories for the driver who has been otherwise dominant. The 18-turn, 3.661-mile (5.892-kilometer) road course is where he has his worst average result across multiple races since 2021, that being an uncharacteristic 13.5.

Verstappen looked poised to win the race last year, but bodywork damage suffered as a result of debris from another car made it practically impossible. He was able to salvage a seventh place finish.

And of course, we all remember what happened in 2021, when he was taken out by country hero Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap amid their epic championship battle. Hamilton overcame the ensuing slam-dunk penalty to further rub salt in the wound with a race victory.

On top of that, Silverstone Circuit itself has presented a highly anti-Verstappen environment ever since the Dutchman truly began to mount a challenge against the seven-time world champion a few seasons ago.

While it may have only been a small contingent of fans who cheered as Verstappen was taken to hospital after the 2021 wreck, you could hear the unmistakable boos in 2022 whenever he was spoken to on the broadcast or shown on the video screens — and the unforgiving roars of approval when he began to fall down the order with car damage.

What does 2023 have in store?

Believe it or not, Verstappen does actually have a win at Silverstone Circuit to his name, having won the second of two races at the track in a 2020 season that saw several schedule modifications due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

He almost won both races there that year, in fact, with Hamilton winning the first but with a tire that went flat on the final lap.

But his win was not in front of a raucous crowd of 150,000 fans, and that race was the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. He is still in search of his first British Grand Prix win.

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is currently offering fans an instant $200 just for signing up and betting $20, lists Verstappen as the -290 favorite to win the British Grand Prix.

The other two tracks where Verstappen failed to win in both 2021 and 2022 are Bahrain International Circuit, where he had never won, and Interlagos Circuit, where he won in 2019. He opened up the 2023 season with a win in Bahrain, while Formula 1 is not scheduled to visit Interlagos until November.

Can Verstappen send a cold-blooded message to the British fans with a career-best sixth straight victory this Sunday, much like he did in front of Red Bull’s home crowd last week by pitting and taking away the fastest lap point from teammate Sergio Perez on the final lap of the race, or will the Silverstone crowd enjoy another Sunday afternoon at Verstappen’s expense?

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The British Grand Prix is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN2 from Silverstone Circuit beginning at 9:55 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 9. Start a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!