Spectators celebrate as Max Verstappen clinches the World Championship title in the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as they watch the race on screens in Breda, Netherlands, on Sunday. AP
The fans rode a rollercoaster of emotions in the Bar Club 188 in the Hague, as pole position holder Verstappen saw Lewis Hamilton blast past him in the opening seconds of the race.
Just when it seemed Hamilton had secured his eighth world title, a crash involving Nicholas Latifi effectively set up a one-lap race for the title between Verstappen and Hamilton that the 24-year-old Dutchman won.
"What an unbelievable end. I have lost my voice," Tom Alsem, 30, said, his eyes glued to a TV screen showing the driver nicknamed "Super Max" hugging his Red Bull team mechanics in Abu Dhabi.
Like the Verstappen fans following the race in the Gulf, Alsem was dressed head to toe in orange.
His friends dashed to the bar to order a new round of beers, before toasting their idol with cries of "Oh Max!".
"A historic day for Dutch sport," tweeted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte after what he called "a bizarre race." "Max Verstappen, congratulations for this phenomenal performance. Really fantastic," he added.
In the orange-decked bar in the Hague and in a cafe in Zandvoort near the circuit where the Dutch Grand Prix is held, the fans had a nerve-shredding day.
Max Verstappen fans celebrate in a cafe in Breda, Netherlands, on Sunday. AP
"I hope he'll win but Hamilton often gets a bit of luck at the crucial moments," keen F1 fan Paul Meester, 61, told AFP as he watched the start of the race in the Hague. Two hours later, he said: "I told my friend he won't win, it's finished."
But within minutes, the race had turned on its head and Verstappen took the chequered flag.
Niels, 34, said at the start of the race he had a bad feeling because "Max is so unpredictable...he could lose it in a rush of blood."
By the end, he was hailing Verstappen's "immense performance", saying it was one of the greatest moments ever in the history of Dutch sport, normally dominated by football.
The best-known player in the Dutch team, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, tweeted: "WHAT A BOSS."
The 36-year-old Briton had been out of contract since the end of last year but the negotiations had turned into something of a saga, with questions raised about why it was taking so long.
Red Bull’s world championship leader Max Verstappen will start on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix after edging out Lando Norris for McLaren in qualifying on Saturday.
Mercedes are contesting safety car procedures which resulted in Verstappen overtaking Hamilton on the final lap to clinch the world championship.
Lewis Hamilton is favourite to win the Spanish Grand Prix for a fourth time, and third in a row, on Sunday and retake the Formula One world championship lead from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Needless to say, Ferrari have another script in mind for a race seen as something of a litmus test for their title prospects.
Her victory in the Women's singles badminton at the Commonwealth took her to completing a hat-trick of medals at the Games with a win over Michelle Li of Canada in the women's singles final in Birmingham.
She picked up her first victory since the 2021 French Open on Monday, beating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the women’s National Bank Open.
The six-time defending champions showed their opponents no mercy in sweltering conditions on the final day of sporting action in Birmingham.