Max Verstappen has dismissed a so-called Dutch-German sporting "curse" as he lines up an opportunity to clinch his first F1 world title.
Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings by just eight points with two races remaining of the 2021 season.
Put to him that the rivalry between himself and Mercedes mirrors the 1974 FIFA World Cup final between The Netherlands and West Germany, the latter pulling back a deficit to win the title, Verstappen brushed aside suggestions of a sporting curse.
“I think if you believe in these things you have a very weak mentality," said the Red Bull driver.
"And I mean, at the end of the day, football is not Formula 1 and Formula 1 is not football.
“It’s not really Holland versus Germany. There are many different nationalities involved, I would say many English, but in general a lot of different nationalities in preparing your car and engine.
“So you can’t speak of two nationalities fighting for a championship.”
With the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit expected to favour Mercedes and Hamilton, Verstappen refused to concede the advantage to the Silver Arrows before properly sampling the track.
“We’re very motivated and a track like this creates different and new opportunities for everyone, not only us, and hopefully it is going to be an exciting weekend," added Verstappen.
"Of course I hope that we are going to be competitive but it’s a bit too early to say at the moment.”
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