Max Verstappen is just 21 years old and has already made his mark in modern Formula 1. Ever since his debut in 2015 as the youngest F1 driver ever he has been an incredible personality in Formula 1.
Max Verstappen is now the most successful Dutch F1 driver ever, beating his father, who was formerly the most successful Dutch F1 driver. Jos Verstappen has been a teammate of Michael Schumacher and was known for his skillful racing. However, he never came further than two third places.
Many people think Max has received his racing skills from his father, but some people say he has the racing genes from his mother, Sophie Kumpen. Max’ team boss at Red Bull, Christian Horner, has raced against his mother and he said she’d beaten him and other famous drivers like Jan Magnussen, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli. “She was in the top 10 of the world” Horner added.
His mother even got him into racing. When Max was four years old, he wanted to start karting, but his father Jos wanted to wait until he was six. After he kept asking his mother said they should buy him a kart, and the rest is history.
He has excellent racing genes and has two perfect mentors as parents. They guide him through his personal development and have taught him all he needs to know about racing.
Max Verstappen is without a doubt amongst the most skilled drivers on the F1 grid these days. Winning his first race by holding off World Champion Kimi Raikkonen proved what many thought of him. He is beating several World Champions on track such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton.
Max is praised for his skills in wet weather conditions. His performance during the Brazilian GP in 2016 where he fell back to 16th and fought his way to 3rd made headlines all over the world. Comparisons with legendary drivers such as Schumacher and Senna are regularly made ever since.
Around one lap, in qualification, he has also proven to be the right guy. He has beaten his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo lots of times while Ricciardo was already considered to be a great one-lap driver.
His overtakes are often in places nobody expects them. Like in Spa 2015, where he overtook Nasr in Blanchimont, a corner where overtakes are a rarity. Later, Max admitted he had practiced that overtake while playing racing games on his Playstation. Next generation for sure!
Max’ character has gotten him in trouble more than often but is also the reason why he might one day become the greatest of all time.
Max has only one goal, prove the world that he is the best driver on the Formula 1 grid. And he is relentless in the way he shows it. He loves hard racing and doesn’t shy away from touch on-track battles. He is always looking for the limit, but that has also caused him to go over the limit a lot of times. However, he keeps improving his skill by learning from his mistakes.
The 2018 season started difficult for Max. He made too many mistakes which cost him valuable points. However, after he missed out on a race win in Monaco the tables turned. He performed better than ever and scored multiple podiums and race wins. Ever since the second half of that season, he has been on top of his game.
Everybody who has ever competed in any kind of race knows how it feels when you have people cheering for you. And when it comes to Formula 1, there is no other driver who attracts so many fans as Max Verstappen. European races often have big orange crowds, and his fanbase is bigger than just the Dutch. All over the world people adore Max. From Brazil to Japan, Max’ popularity can only be compared to fans of Schumacher and Senna.
The so-called ‘Orange Army’ is also comparable with the redd masses of ‘Tifosi’ (Ferrari fans) at the Italian Grand Prix. It has impacted the overall popularity of the sport and in 2020 there will even be a Dutch Grand Prix again after 35 years.
Not only the Dutch crowds are big fans of Max. Also, a lot of prominent people on the paddock are big fans of him. Former F1 driver and World Champion Niki Lauda has called Max a ‘Wunderkind’ (wonder child). Max is now in a position that he could go to any team if he wanted. He has a contract until 2020 at Red Bull Racing but in 2021 the regulations will change and the top teams will probably all line up to sign him then.
Max holds 8 ‘youngest’ records, including ‘youngest race winner’ and ‘youngest driver to set the fastest lap’. Many say he will also become the youngest Formula 1 World Champion.
When it comes to race wins and World Championships, Michael Schumacher is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). Schumacher has 7 World Championships and 91 wins. At first, many argued that nobody could ever reach those records, let alone beat them. But current World Champion Lewis Hamilton has beaten a lot of Schumacher’s records over the recent years.
To put it in perspective: Max already scored 26 podiums in his career, six of them were race wins. But the best part is, he is still younger than Hamilton was on his debut. Max could possibly dominate the next 15 years in Formula One if he has the right car. Max has already 92 race entries at this age, that’s 38% of the total race entries of Lewis Hamilton and 30% of Schumacher.
Red Bull Racing have proven before they are a team that is able to win multiple World Championships, and with their new engine supplier Honda and Max Verstappen on board, they might start a new era of dominance in Formula 1.