Two-time world champion Max Verstappen is off to a flying start in the 2023 Formula 1 season. The Dutch driver raced his way to yet another victory under the Red Bull banner in the first race of the new season in Bahrain, once again reaffirming his status as the favourite to win three world championships in a row.
However, Verstappen often falls in media attention for the wrong reasons. Let it be the controversial finish to the 2021 championship that saw Lewis Hamilton miss out on a record eighth world title, or the drama involving Sergio Perez last season – Verstappen manages to hit the headlines for the right and wrong reasons.
That seems to be continuing in 2023 as well, with the Red Bull driver pulling out of media commitments ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. The driver has explained that he has a bug in the stomach to tackle, due to which he won’t be available to fulfill a few responsibilities, but he is expected to be fit by the race day.
“Feeling fine again, after not being fit for a few days because of a stomach bug,” wrote the Dutchman, 25, on Twitter. “Therefore, I unfortunately had to postpone my flight for a day, so I won’t be on the track until Friday.”
Verstappen heads into the second round of the season leading the championship following his comprehensive victory in Bahrain. Verstappen, who is this year bidding for a third successivetitle, led home a Red Bull one-two finish on the podium at the first race, while Aston Martin Fernando Alonso took the third spot.
The drivers’ press conference is scheduled to be organised on Thursday, with the qualifying and main race taking place in Saudi Arabia on 18th and 19th of March. Due to his latest ailment, it was confirmed by the F1 authorities that Verstappen will be arriving late in Jeddah to join his team.
Red Bull are having the time of their life while arch-rivals Mercedes continue with their struggles. Adding more misery to their new season was Lewis Hamilton’s recent comments, where he was found criticising his team for not taking drivers’ inputs. Some were also speculating that Verstappen is missing media duties as it was an aftermath post the Hamilton incident before the Dutch driver confirmed his reason. If you are interested in sports betting visit Nextbet.