5 million watched Verstappen take F1 championship
Almost 5 million Netherlands residents watched the F1 race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon. Stichting Kijkonderzoek published these figures. Max Verstappen became the first Dutchman ever to become Formula 1 world champion.
On Ziggo Sport Select, 2.54 million people watched the match. Another 2.37 million people tuned in to Ziggo Sport. The race ranks first among the most-watched programs on Sunday. It was also the most-watched F1 race ever on Ziggo Sport. This record was previously set by the F1 race in Zandvoort in September. Three million people watched that race.
Verstappen's victory dominated the Dutch newspaper's headlines on Monday.
"Phenomenon" appears in large letters with the photo of the Dutch driver on the front page of the AD. The newspaper wrote about the "miracle of Abu Dhabi" and dedicated a "championship supplement" to Verstappen. AD journalist Arjan Schouten called Verstappen the Johan Cruijff of this generation on the front page. "Or is he more than that, after the miraculous way in which he grabbed the world title in Abu Dhabi?" he wrote.
De Telegraaf opened with "Supermax." And on the following two pages: "This is only the beginning!" De Telegraaf also published a special edition about the new Formula 1 world champion. Verstappen is portrayed alongside former champions like Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and Michael Schumacher. According to De Telegraaf, the Limburg man has "always stayed true to himself thanks to the lessons of his father, Jos."
De Volkskrant used its front page to compare the 24-year-old driver's performance with "legendary athletes" like Cruijff, Fanny Blankers-Koen, and Anton Geesink. "The day everything came together for Max," the headline reads two pages later.
"The best in the world" can be read on the NRC front page. Along with a photo of Verstappen lifted by his engineers after the race. According to the newspaper, Verstappen "had luck on his side at the right time."
Trouw's front page reads: "The focus remained on the finish." The daily reports in its sports section that everything came together for Verstappen "on that last lap on the asphalt in Abu Dhabi."
Various sponsors and companies also congratulated Verstappen with his title with full-page advertisements in the morning papers. CEO Frits van Eerd of supermarket chain Jumbo wrote, among other things, that Verstappen made the entire Netherlands a fan of Formula 1 "Max, on behalf of all of Jumbo: congratulations."
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima praised Verstappen's performance, congratulating him on Instagram. "The all-deciding race in Abu Dhabi was the climax of his exciting season. Verstappen kept his patience during the race. His team played strong tactically round after round. Until the blood-curdling final phase. He took his chance and made the difference: Max Verstappen is Formula 1 world champion!" said the King and Queen.
On Sunday afternoon, the two sat in front of the television with their three daughters Amalia, Alexia, and Ariane. "Like all of the Netherlands, the five of us followed the race with excitement. Our heartfelt congratulations on the world championship," Willem-Alexander and maxima wrote, sharing a photo of Verstappen in action.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte congratulated Verstappen, tweeting that he delivered a "phenomenal performance" and "a historic day for Dutch sport." Rutte spoke of a "bizarre denouement" of the "all-deciding race of the world championship."
"What an end to an extremely exciting race," said Paul BLokhuis, responsible for sports as State Secretary. "With a fantastic result after this great season! Congratulations."
Reporting by ANP.