• Environment The war between Barcelona and Madrid for Formula 1 with the second Alonsomanía as a witness
  • Interview Guenther Steiner, the small team director who became famous on Netflix: "The public chants me and I am ashamed"

"Yes, you can", "yes, you can", "yes, you can", chants the public, more than 50,000 fans who have come to Montmeló to see some simple training. The present World Championship is a gift for the followers of Formula 1 in Spain, with Fernando Alonso always on the podium, with the dream that "yes, you can" something more, but the reality outside of that euphoria is different: What if the championship is over? Max Verstappan appears first on the track, completes several laps at a dizzying pace, registers one of them almost a second faster than the rest of his rivals, and returns to the garage. If it does not mean disaster in qualifying, as happened in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, if it does not suffer any breakdown in the race, the current champion is the favoritism to win this Sunday (15.00 hours, DAZN) and even in spring, even with 16 races to go, the title already seems his.

In the first tests, more with so many street circuits, there was the illusion of a competitive year, he against Checo Pérez, Checo Pérez against him, but the disaster of the Mexican in Monaco and the reliability of the Dutchman has already separated them: 39 points between them. How do you go back 39 points to Verstappen? "At the moment it looks like I can win every race, but I don't think it will happen. Because of the pace I could get it, but there are always things that go wrong. I will arrive at tracks where it costs me or I will have bad luck in qualifying or I will make a mistake," acknowledged the Red Bull leader.

In his mind, he hinted, a fact, a kind of curse. In Montmeló he has won twice and has climbed to another four podiums, but he has never achieved pole. The Spanish Grand Prix is the place where he has tried the most times, up to eight, without luck: a rarity. Last year he was overtaken by Charles Leclerc in qualifying and the previous year by Lewis Hamilton. Now both want to be a threat to the two Red Bulls again, to join Alonso in it, but they still don't find the way. In fact, this weekend Ferrari presents a set of novelties (new pontoons, new floor and new rear wing) that, apparently in training, is still not enough.

Asked about his own dominance, about the exaggerated difference with the rest, Verstappen replied: "We've always seen this in Formula 1, it's nothing new." "I think the longer you leave the regulations the same, the closer people will get. So maybe this is something we have to look at," he said of a possible rule change in 2026 that would dethrone him, as happened with the era of Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes. In any case, while that moment comes, the Dutchman will continue to win virtually unopposed, prematurely. What if the championship is over?

  • Max Verstappen
  • Articles Javier Sánchez

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