Russian news articles about Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen, for example this recent one, always seem to transliterate his last name as Ферстаппен instead of (what I would expect) Верстаппен. What is the reason for this? Pronouncing his name in Dutch with an F would sound rather odd. The same article transliterates the name of one of his opponents, Valtteri Bottas, as Валттери Боттас. Is it because that would cause the 'е' to be pronounced as (using IPA notation) ɪ (like e.g. in велик)? If so, wouldn't make using an э, so Вэрстаппен, more sense? Or am I overthinking the difference in pronunciation between Ф and В too much?
Wikipedia indeed mentions that this corresponds to practical Dutch transliteration, as you can clearly see from exactly the article linked. A Dutch "v" is usually transliterated as "в", we say "ван Дамм" and "Велдховен", not "фан Дамм" and "Фелдховен".
However - and that fact might seem quite annoying to Dutchmen, quite often if the name sounds German enough (and Verstappen does sound that way) by mistake it is transliterated that way. In fact, in past times sometimes it used to happen even with English names (see the pic - yep, it's Бертран Рассел).
If a mistake was made once, it can stay for a long time, if not forever, because people sort of got used to it.
Most likely it was an erroneous transliteration, which was, as it often is with journalism, repeated again and again with no fact-checking, until it became an expected form.
In fact, Russian Wikipedia's article even has a comment, mentioning the "Ф" as being incorrect, according to the practical rules of Dutch-Russian transcription.
Because it makes a difference between W and V W is usually transliterated into В or У (for example dr. Watson in different translations is доктор Ватсон or доктор Уотсон, but the first one is more popular) and V transliterates into Ф. Also it can depend of the original language, in this case Dutch