Bernie Ecclestone has credited Max Verstappen for tipping Heineken over the edge in deciding to enter F1.
In June, the Dutch beer giant signed a reported multi-hundred million euro sponsorship of the pinnacle of motor sport.
Now, as Rio prepares to kick off the 2016 Olympics on Friday, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone dropped into the city’s Holland Heineken House, a traditional hub for Dutch and international guests during the Games.
Referring to the teen sensation Verstappen, Ecclestone told Algemeen Dagblad newspaper: “I think Heineken delayed coming into formula one until The Netherlands had its own star.”
The 85-year-old F1 chief executive is in Rio with his wife Fabiana Flosi, whose mother was rescued from Brazilian kidnappers earlier this week.
But Ecclestone said he was happy to be at Holland Heineken House, located in Rio’s Clube Monte Libano in the Ipanema-Leblon district.
He said: “It’s a nice place and it’s great to see the fans celebrating. I will definitely keep an eye on the Dutch athletes.”