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F1: Verstappen anticipates tough challenge on home circuit this weekend

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Files

Just coming off an impressive finish at the Belgium Grand Prix last weekend, reigning world champion Max Verstappen does not anticipate an easy race on home turf this weekend.

Max Verstappen heading in to his home Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort this weekend after dominating the track at spa last weekend to extend his title to a 93-point gap.

"Once I realised we were in P3, even on the soft compounds, we were very quick and I knew I had a good chance of winning the race."

"Everyone within the team knows we are having a good time but we are also very focused on what we want to achieve. At the moment we are achieving that, but we always want more."

Red Bull's runaway Formula One championship leader has won the last two races from well down the starting grid -- 10th in Hungary, 14th in Belgium -- and will want to continue the run from the front of the grid this time.

With a 93-point gap to Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, and 98 advantage over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who remains his closest real rival, Verstappen is relaxed and cruising to a second title.

This weekend will be his first home race as world champion.

He returns on a streak of success with nine wins this season and chasing his fourth in a row.

Verstappen says "There's a lot more downforce required at the track in Zandvoort (than Spa) so it will be harder for us to be dominant, I expect Ferrari to be strong there."

Verstappen said ahead of the 15th race of the 22-round season.

Mercedes, way off the pace in qualifying at Spa, will also be looking to bounce back at a circuit where the team finished second and third last year with Lewis Hamilton and now-departed Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton's car took a big hit in Spa after a first lap collision with Fernando Alonso's Alpine sent it high into the air before crashing down, and questions remain about possible penalties.


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