THE BOY RACER: THE RAPID RISE OF MAX VERSTAPPEN

THE BOY RACER: THE RAPID RISE OF MAX VERSTAPPEN
Son of a former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen, Max Verstappen is the youngest race winner in F1 history. At the age of 17 years and 166 days, the very promising Belgian-Dutch driver became the youngest Formula One Grand Prix driver when he made his debut for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in Melbourne.

 

 

 

Jos weighs into the debate over age, as a proud father and someone who recognises, like no other, his son’s exceptional skills at the controls of a modern Formula One car.

“People who criticize Max for being in Formula One because of his age – those people don’t know Max. Of course, they are waiting to see how he handles the pressure of Formula One and maybe waiting for him to fail,” he says. “I have been working with him on his racing for the past 10 years. He has so much more experience than other kids of 17. He has been around motorsport since he was a child. It is his life. We have done everything ourselves, up until the moment we signed with Red Bull.”


Born in Hasselt, Belgium, in 1997, It didn't take long for Max to hit the track and by the year 2003, he was karting regularly in Genk, Belgium. A few years later, everything got more serious and he took part in his first championship, Belgium championship Mini (VAS) where he won all 21 races. By 2013, Verstappen had won almost everything karting had to offer, winning the 2013 World KZ championship at Varennes-sur-Allier in France. His single-seater debut came in the inaugural Florida Winter Series. But, it didn't take long for him to be invited by Van Amersfoort to take part in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At just 16, Verstappen took the F3 championship by storm, winning his sixth race before going on to win an incredible six consecutive victories in the series, placing third in the overall rankings.

 

 

In 2015, Max decided to join the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, making him the youngest ever Formula One driver in the sport's history, surpassing Jaime Alguersuari's record by nearly two years. His debut season was a success where he was placed fourth by scoring a spectacular 49 points. By only participating in four races in 2016, Verstappen made a huge move to Red Bull Racing to partner up with Daniel Ricciardo. During his first Grand Prix with his new team back in Spain, he went on to prove everyone his worth by finishing on top despite being under relentless pressure from 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen. He then continued his top form by adding six more podium finishes, including perhaps the standout drive of the season in rain-lashed Brazil. Max finished off his 2016 season in fifth place in the World Championship as he established himself as the most promising young talent in F1.

 

 


The following season brought Max more promising results with victories in Malaysia and Mexico. He came second in Japan and third in China, securing him an overall sixth place. Despite continuously showcasing his ability to compete against the best of the best in the world of Formula One, he decided it wasn't enough and went on to better his career-best by finishing fourth in 2018. His victories in Austria and Mexico helped him a lot, along with an array of impressive podium places all over the world.

Verstappen went one better once again in the 2019 Formula One Season with a third-place overall finish in the standings. This was a result of his consistent performances, which earned him podium places in Australia and Spain, a memorable win at the Red Bull Ring at the Austrian Grand Prix and an impressive first place at the Hockenheimring at a dramatic and rain-soaked German Grand Prix.

After that, he finished the 2019 campaign strongly with various podium spots in Hungary, Singapore, USA, first place in Brazil and second place in Abu Dhabi to confirm his reputation as one of Formula One's most formidable and improving drivers.

 

 


WHERE DO YOU THINK MAX WILL FINISH IN THE 2021 F1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP?

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