Verstappen: F1 can't compete with Champions League upsets

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen says that no one should expect Formula 1 to be able to deliver the sort of shock upset results seen in this week's Champions League football matches.

English clubs Liverpool and Tottenham overcame substantial first leg deficits against Spanish teams Barcelona and Ajax to successfully book places in the tournament final. The dramatic turnarounds made headlines around the world.

But Verstappen pointed out that F1 simply doesn't work like that.

"Well it can't," he insisted. "It's basically like being three laps down and the guy suddenly wins the race.

"It's just a different sport. Different things can happen, the emotion as well," he suggested. "It's like that one game is decisive for the rest of the championship.

"It's different [in F1]. We are doing 21 rounds."

Naturally, Verstappen himself is not a particular supporter of any of the teams involved in this week's Champions League deciders - as a proud Dutchman, he backs PSV Eindhoven. But he revealed that he did lend his support to Ajax in this week's contest.

"I'm a PSV fan, but I would have liked Ajax to win," he said. "I'm not that devastated [by their losing] but of course it would have been great for Ajax to be in the final.

"The final few seconds was a bit dramatic, between Ajax and Tottenham," he agreed. “I was having dinner and I was just following it on my phone.

"I'm not crying like some of my friends. Some of my friends were very emotional after the game. One didn't reply for an hour when I said 'bad luck' - then he came back to me saying he didn't feel too well!"

Ajax does boast two top players from the Dutch national squad in their line-up, Frankie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt. Verstappen has been in touch occasionally with both since becoming a star in his own right in F1.

"Those guys are super easy going and normal, even with the success they've had," he said. "You send them a message on Instagram and say 'good luck', and after the game, they're like: 'Thank you very much'.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15.

"It's super easy going. That's what I like: good players with a lot of success, and they're just still the same person. It's good to see that."

Verstappen isn't the only driver arriving in Spain on Thursday still catching his breath after the high drama of the football.

"The games were incredible up until now, so I am going to try and get to the final," said Lewis Hamilton. However he isn't entirely certain which of the two English clubs he'll be supporting. "Honesty, I don't like either!

"I'm an Arsenal supporter," he explained, adding that the inter-London rivalry between his favoured team and Tottenham would probably be the deciding factor - and not in Spurs' favour.

"Since I was a kid, [Tottenham] has always been a team that I have struggled with," he said. "So ... Maybe Liverpool. Maybe Liverpool."

Meanwhile Ferrari's Charles Leclerc said he was using the astonishing never-say-die attitude of Liverpool and Tottenham coming back against seemingly insurmountable odds as inspiration for his own F1 campaign.

"You always need to be motivated and never give up," he elaborated. "The Champions League was a good example, and this is the mentality in the [Ferrari] team.

"We are here to win and this is what we want to do, so we are doing everything in our hands to improve. And hopefully the results will come."

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