Max Verstappen is one of the best Formula 1 drivers, who became the youngest driver to race in Formula 1. and also the youngest driver to finish a hundred Grand Prix Races in the Formula 1 history. It shouldn’t be a surprise as he started his F1 career at age of 17. This is uncommon in a sport that is extremely hard to break into, but it wasn’t impossible because he came from a family which is not new to the Motorsport. his father Jos Verstappen was a F1 driver between 1994 and 2003, he drove for Tyrrell, Benetton and Minardi. his Belgian Mother Sophie Kumpen had raced in so many karting events, his cousin Anthony Kumpen who is a two-time NASCAR Euro Series Champion, and also out of the Motorsport his grandfather Robert Kumpen was chairman of the Belgian football club Genk from 1993 to 1995. his sister Victoria-Jane Verstappen, who also spent time in karting , now she is working behind the scenes with Red Bull Netherlands.
The Dutch driver has made the Sport more fun and challenging, even with the new V6 engine rules that all the teams struggle with, except Mercedes. Max was given a seat in Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015, after finishing third in his season of Formula 3 Series behind Esteban Ocon and runner-up Tom Blomqvist. All the experience that he acquired in his short racing career, put him ahead of so many talented drivers in the Red Bull development program.
No doubt that we all believe in his ability to be the future Formula 1 World Champion. since he started holding the string of records in F1 – The youngest driver to cross Finish-Line in Formula 1 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix with Toro Rosso, the youngest driver to lead a lap, the youngest driver to set the fastest lap, youngest driver to score points, the youngest driver to go up a podium, youngest race winner, the youngest multiple Grand Prix winner, the youngest to win the same Grand Prix multiple times, and moreover here are 5 things you must know about the dutch hero:
Here’s a look at his 5 seasons in F1:
2015: steering his Toro Rosso car out of the garage in 2015.
While he was still a teenager (17), he was brought from Formula 3 straight into Formula 1, without even winning the junior title, it was a big adventurer for the team. there were so many speculations if the previous F3 driver is ready and has what it needs to drive a Formula 1 car. it was a big challenge for Red Bull. but Max has shown his ablity and proved to Red Bull that they had taken the right decision to believe in his young talent, and give him a chance to drive in F1 at young age. the rookie was so excited for his first F1 season, but he has a heavy burden on his shoulders, so he knew that the first season with Toro Rosso will be as a learning process in his F1 career.
The start of 2015 season was full of many changes of seats. Sebastian Vettel was departing to Ferrari, and Daniil Kvyat was upgraded to Red Bull and there were 2 slots to be filled at Toro Rosso. And so, they took a punt on a young Carlos Sainz Jr. to be a team mate to the younger Verstappen. Both their fathers are racing car drivers, both came from Red Bull academy development program, and both were evenly matched throughout their debut season.
Championship: 12th | Points: 49 | Podiums: 0 | Wins: 0
2016: The new Red Bull rookie Verstappen celebrates his debut race with Red Bull at Circuit de Catalunya, Spain.
The 18 years old boy at that time, celebrates his first victory with Red Bull at Circuit de Catalunya.
He won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix before even getting his drivering license. with that unforgottable victory, he broke Sebastian Vettel’s record who was the youngest F1 GP winer. as it was his first race with Red Bull Racing, it was an incredible job for him and also for the team. Daniil Kvyat who went back to Toro Rosso after having a bumpy start of the season, crashing and torpedoing. finished ahead of his previous team mate Daniel Ricciardo. the Russian driver was disappointed for the decision that Red Bull took after only 4 rounds of the championship.
Max to the advantege from the Mercedes drivers DNFs after they crashed into each other in the first lap, which helped the dutch driver to lead the race till the finish line. followed by six more podiums in the season, which effectively extinguished any doubts about his talent.
Championship: 5th | Points: 204 | Podiums: 7 | Wins: 1
2017: Max Verstappen’s collision his with Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo at last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix
A spectacular crash in Baku between Max and his team mate caused tension in the Red Bull garage.
In his second season with Red Bull, Max started stuggling to get on the podium, which he fell in some mistakes that caused him DNF in so many cases. He often wouldn’t drive within the rules and instructions of the team, and one of the worst collision he caused, was at Azerbaijan Grand Prix when his team mate Daniel Ricciardo was coming from behind with his open DRS, Max closed the door on him which caused a massive crash between each other and both were DNFs. That year the podiums were lesser than 2016 because he had a terrible season with unreliable machinery with 7 DNFs and finished behind his teammate Ricciardo. He was frequently called to the steward’s office and overall the lady luck was not with him.
This was until Malaysia, where he picked up his first win of the season, shortly followed by another win in Mexico, thus finishing the year on a high. With his speed and flair for wheel-to-wheel racing, he consistently became a threat to the front running Mercedes and Ferraris, who came to grips with the threat he posed.
Championship: 6th | Points: 168 | Podiums: 4 | Wins: 2
2018: Equal footing with Daniel Ricciardo Soaking in the applause after winning in Mexico in 2018
Soaking in the applause after winning in Mexico in 2018
The intra-team battle between the genial Aussie Daniel Ricciardo and supremely competitive Max Verstappen created sparks in the first year and fireworks in the second inevitably leading to a conflagration in the third. Daniel Ricciardo felt that the team was siding with Max, given his youth and backing his ambitions of becoming the youngest ever F1 World Champion.
There was no clear number at Red Bull one now. No one was ready to concede a millimetre on the racetrack or a millisecond on the lap times. Both won twice, Ricciardo in China and Monaco and Verstappen in Austria and Mexico. There was hardly anything to separate them, but the most talented driver line-up on the grid was to be broken shortly. He finished ahead of Daniel who had a string of DNFs (8) through no fault of his own and in a sensational decision, that shook the driver market, went to Renault on a handsome 2-season deal.
Championship: 4th | Points: 249 | Podiums: 11 | Wins: 2
2019: Undisputed number 1 Red Bull driver Two wins in 3 races had briefly brought Verstappen in title contention
Two wins in 3 races had briefly brought Verstappen in title contention
Max Verstappen is well on his way to his highest points finish in a season as a Red Bull driver. But that is not going to satisfy him, other times is a certified classic move, and the rest are a mix of audacious, capricious, and devious. He splits opinions, sharply. That’s what makes him a box-office star in F1. That’s what draws a legion of fans dressed in Dutch Orange cheering his moves, especially around European circuits. He is ready for a title brawl, given an opportunity with a consistently quick and reliably competitive machinery.
The rise of Charles Leclerc has given him a worthy adversary for duels of the future. And old foe Carlos Sainz Jr. has done some fine maturing over the years.
Championship: 4th | Points: 235 | Podiums: 7 | Wins: 2