“In all my many years in motor racing, Max is the most fantastic young driver I’ve ever seen, no doubt. The only thing I would tell him is to keep his feet on the ground. He has a tendency to lose control of himself, but if he masters those impulses he can be one of the greatest drivers F1 has ever known.”, these were the words of three-time world champion and current Mercedes team mentor Niki Lauda when asked about Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen has been phenomenal in recent years and he has been showing every trait of a champion, despite being just 20 years old.
In his short career, this young talent has shown the world his capability with breath-taking overtakes at different grand prix, however he did receive a gentle warning from FIA in 2016.
Verstappen became the youngest driver to start a World Championship race by joining the sport a year before his licence restriction, in his Grand Prix debut as a full-time driver at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years, 166 days.
In Malaysia in the same year, Verstappen qualified sixth and finished the race in seventh place, scoring his first Formula One points aged 17 years, 180 days, breaking the record of youngest driver to score World Championship points.
Following that, in 2016 he became the youngest driver to become a GP winner at the age of just 18 years.
Though Verstappen has always showed his skill in every race, there have been some moments that have stood out, and comparisons have been drawn to Senna and Schumacher.
The best example being his series of overtakes at the 2016 Brazilian GP where he qualified fourth and almost crashed into barrier before calmly drifting back.
Despite hanging strong he lost his position because of a pit stop but Max being Max recovered and sped his way to 3rd with a series of overtakes from 16th.
His overtaking skills and fearless attitude in the car is what makes him one of the biggest forces to reckon with this season and with the improved Red Bull, he could be turn out to the be the dark horse this season.
His podium win at Brazil was considered one of the best finishes in the history of F1. His team principal Christian Horner heaped praise and labelled it as ‘one of the best drives he had seen in Formula One’.
Max has always regarded his dad as his hero and what else justifies that Jos has worked so hard with Max, be it working on cart or working on his gym work-out.
And despite so many ups and downs in his short career, Max has received permanent support from his dad who has seen to it that his son didn’t lose his self-confidence.
Max Verstappen is up for the Australian GP and without doubt he has the calibre of becoming a world champion.