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There Is Only One Way To Deny Max Verstappen His Trophy

Max Verstappen on the podium with both pieces of his trophy
ANP via Getty Images

This year's F1 season has been about as suspenseful as the ingredient list on a potato chip bag. Again and again, Max Verstappen has zoomed out to a big lead and then proven it to be insurmountable over the rest of the race. After taking back-to-back drivers' championships in 2021 and 2022, Verstappen has bolstered his claim to all-time greatness with wins in seven straight Grands Prix and nine of the first 11 to start the season. And in the two he hasn't won, he's finished second behind his teammate Sergio Pérez.

Sunday in Budapest was more of the same. Lewis Hamilton sputtered out of the pole position, Verstappen leapfrogged from his starting spot in second, and he cruised to a victory that was 33.7 seconds faster than the runner-up.

"What an unbelievable rocket ship that was today," Verstappen said afterward, though I fail to see how today was different from any other Sunday.

There are those who can watch F1 and, during a race with an inevitable finish, get excited about those who exceed expectations with strong positions behind Verstappen. I am not one of those people. I don't watch a race to see who finishes second. But if you ain't first, you can still end up near Verstappen on the podium, which is where the true drama of the day took place.

The 23-year-old Lando Norris, who's eighth in the driver standings after today, satisfied his supporters with a second straight second-place finish. But his relative unfamiliarity with the post-race celebrations poked through after the champagne came out. Norris opened up his bottle by slamming it against the table on which the winner's trophy sat. In doing so, he destabilized it and made it fall to the ground, where it broke into multiple pieces. Here's a bunch of angles and photos of the most effective challenge to Verstappen's dominance in weeks.

Norris looked mortified by his act of adrenaline, once he understood it, but Verstappen didn't seem bothered at all.

If anything, Norris did him a favor. That's one less trophy to make room for in what must be an overflowing Verstappen manor. They're crowding out the family portraits!

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