The CEO of Liberty Media, Greg Maffei, has claimed that the only way to stop Max Verstappen from dominating F1 at the moment would be to ‘break his leg’. The Dutch driver has won each of the last ten races, making history in the process.
The Dutch driver was at least challenged by Ferrari and Charles Leclerc on his way to a second successive world title last season, but Verstappen has been on a different level to the competition in 2023.
Red Bull’s star driver has won 12 of the 14 races so far this season, standing on the top two steps of the podium at every event. The result of this is a championship battle that lasted all of four rounds with Verstappen opening up a mammoth 145-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez at the top of the standings.
Speaking during a Goldman Sachs event, Maffei said: “The reality is that we have a very competitive product. The midfield is incredibly interesting and there is more overtaking than ever before, we can show that in black and white.”
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He jokingly continued: “But Max is incredibly fast. The only way to change that is to break his leg! The challenge we have is that Max Verstappen is having an incredible year, breaking record after record.
“Stefano [Domenicali] is trying to capitalise on Max’s achievements by saying, ‘look at these historic events. Successes like this you have never seen before. You don’t want to miss this.’ We’ll see if that works.”
While many have speculated that Verstappen’s dominance will turn fans off the sport if left to continue, Maffei suggested that this is not the case and that viewing figures for F1 are showing positive signs.
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He explained: “We’ve had a lot of success this year. Of the top four races in terms of ratings here in the United States, three of them took place this season, and our ratings are increasing year in and year out.”
“I think you have to look at the overall interest in the sport,” Maffei continued. “Viewing figures alone are a bit of a difficult thing. If you look at the total interest, apart from linear TV, then we have grown considerably. Think of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Interest in the sport has only increased. It is much more than double figures.”
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