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Ronnie O'Sullivan Thinks Every Sport Needs Antagonists Like Max Verstappen

Ronnie O'Sullivan Thinks Every Sport Needs Antagonists Like Max Verstappen
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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It has been an historic F1 season for Max Verstappen, who has left the chasing pack firmly behind him in claiming an astonishing 12 wins from the opening 14 races of the season.

Verstappen and Red Bull was a match made in heaven in 2022, as the Dutchman broke the record for most race wins by a driver in a single season with 15, and he seems well on course to smash his own record this year, with eight races still to go in 2023.

Last time out at the Italian Grand Prix, Verstappen made more history, as he reached a record-breaking ten race wins in a row, passing out the previous record holder Sebastian Vettel, the only other driver to manage nine in a row in a single season.

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The new era of Formula 1 regulations could almost be heralded as the "Verstappen era", with the 25-year-old laying waste to the rest of the grid in astonishing fashion.

Verstappen's persistent excellence has been remarkable in its own right, but many F1 fans have become disenfranchised thanks to the Dutchman's dominance, with only one non-Red Bull race win in the last 14 months leading many to share frustrations with the predictability week-in-week-out.

Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan unexpectedly referenced Verstappen's brilliance at the Shanghai Masters this week, making an unexpected and intriguing case for the value of dominance at the highest level of sport.


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Ronnie O'Sullivan makes case for dominant figures like Max Verstappen

Ronnie O'Sullivan was once again asked for his thoughts on snooker's younger generation after defeating Ali Carter in the last 16 earlier this week at the Shanghai Masters.

Veteran O'Sullivan said that he saw value in any potential for one of snooker's younger players to take over the sport in the manner in which Max Verstappen has done in Formula 1.


The outspoken Englishman explained that he felt it would aid in fans' investment in the sport, saying that there was a compelling case for viewers to have someone to root against:

I think the sport needs someone. The sport is always more exciting if one player can dominate. Everyone wants to see that player lose.

At the moment there isn't really one player dominating...there's many, many good players - there are some very good players from Belgium.

Ben Mertens is good, obviously Luca Brecel winning the World Championship. China has many good players, Si Jiahui played fantastic in the World Championship, great talent, great player.

It'd be nice to see one of them really dominate - every sport needs one, like Verstappen. He's winning everything, people just want to see, 'is he going to lose today?'

People want to watch the real dominant players to see if somebody can beat them. Snooker needs one of them.

It's an intriguing case, and it is hard to argue that there will be additional excitement should Verstappen's winning streak be stopped in the remaining races of the F1 season.

The first chance comes this weekend, with McLaren and Lando Norris looking well poised to take the fight to the Red Bull maestro on the twisting streets of Singapore. Lights out on Sunday is at 1pm Irish time.

Meanwhile, Ronnie O'Sullivan is now through to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters, having defeated John Higgins in this week's quarter-final. He will face Mark Selby in the last four.


SEE ALSO: How Ireland's Jordan Team Made F1 History With Their First Race Win

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