Max Verstappen

Formule1.nl

Statistics

Team:

Red Bull

Date of birth:

September 30, 1997

Country of birth:

The Netherlands

Titles:

Since his entry into Formula 1, Max Verstappen has risen from the youngest driver ever to a multiple world champion. As a twenty-something, he has already broken numerous records and continues to do so. The Dutchman has completely silenced any skepticism that existed when he debuted at just seventeen years old (in 2015). Both friends and foes praise him for his dominance in 2023, as well as the maturity he displays in racing after a stormy entry into the sport.

Extraordinary Talent

When Verstappen debuts, criticism is rife, even when he performs well. Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, believes that Verstappen’s entry proves that ‘Formula 1 has become too easy’. The Canadian later retracts these words and acknowledges that Verstappen is an extraordinary talent.

Verstappen underscores this by scoring points in his second race. And a race later – in China – he showcases his now-famous overtaking skills for the first time. The highlight of 2015, however, is his overtaking move on Felipe Nasr in Blanchimont, Belgium. ‘I practiced that on the sim,’ says Verstappen, a fervent simulator racer, nonchalantly. Besides receiving an almost academic racing education in karts from his father Jos Verstappen, junior Verstappen is also a product of the ‘Playstation generation’.

Stormy Entry

With Verstappen’s stormy entry comes a new way of racing, according to many of his rivals. The Dutchman is aggressive. He sees overtaking opportunities that remain hidden to lesser gods. He finds grip in unexpected places and sells his skin dearly. In his first few seasons, he is often accused of ‘moving under braking’, often seen as a mortal sin in Formula 1. The FIA wants to curb this with what is then colloquially called ‘the Verstappen rule’.

Verstappen manages to attract the spotlights because he is promoted early from the small Toro Rosso to the big Red Bull. Red Bull boss Helmut Marko considers him ready for this big step in early 2016. Verstappen proves Marko’s point by promptly winning his first race for Red Bull. In Spain, he remains cool under pressure from Iceman Kimi Räikkönen. He thus becomes both Formula 1’s youngest ever winner and the first Dutchman to win a Grand Prix.

Titanic Duel

Those who think Verstappen’s rise continues steadily, however, are mistaken. From 2016 to 2020, Red Bull can’t really match Mercedes, and Ferrari is often stronger. Verstappen has to fight for every victory, and thus wins not only the necessary races but also many popularity prizes. Although he is not always the most popular driver or colleague in the paddock. After a hard-fought battle with the Ferrari duo in the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Niki Lauda remarks that Verstappen ‘needs to see a psychiatrist’. Yet Lauda is also impressed by Verstappen’s driving skills: ‘He’s the kind of driver who only comes along once every hundred years’.

Verstappen doesn’t care about the criticism, not even when he experiences a period full of incidents in 2018. He does become calmer, he admits later, and drives more deliberately. This becomes especially apparent when his first real title chance presents itself in 2021. The Dutchman fights a season-long titanic duel with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. The two are far from strangers or friends. As the king of Formula 1 and his intended successor, their rivalry has been under a magnifying glass for years. Those who love soaps and controversy are served in 2021: Hamilton and Verstappen not only clash several times on the circuit, their teams also fight a bitter political battle off the track.

‘Incredible’

As befits a Hollywood season like 2021, the battle is decided only in the last lap of the last race. After a late safety car phase, the final race in Abu Dhabi is released with one lap to go. Hamilton is leading, with the victory that will earn him the title. However, Verstappen has been able to get new tires, Hamilton has not. With the tire advantage and the lessons from his father Jos in mind, Verstappen strikes. He overtakes Hamilton and secures his first world title.

Verstappen’s Repeat Performance in 2022

Verstappen repeats his success in 2022. At the beginning of the season, he has to deal with Ferrari and Charles Leclerc. As the year progresses, however, the Red Bull proves to be the faster race car, while mistakes pile up for Ferrari and Leclerc. Verstappen wins an astonishing fifteen races, a record. His second title is a logical consequence. In Verstappen’s own words: “It’s been an incredible season. I can’t think of another word for it. I realize that a year like this doesn’t come around often.” Just like a talent like Max Verstappen doesn’t come around often.

Verstappen’s Stellar 2023 Season

Verstappen’s strong season in 2022 turns out to be just a preview. In 2023, the Dutchman rises to unparalleled heights. The RB19 is unstoppable in Verstappen’s hands. With five races to go, the title is already his again. He and his team continue to break records. Until Singapore, no other team had won a race. An unprecedented series. Max Verstappen secures his third world title in the desert heat of Qatar.

Max Verstappen’s Record-Breaking Achievements

Here is an overview of the records that Max Verstappen has broken throughout his career.

Max Verstappen began his Formula 1 career at the tender age of 17, making him the youngest driver ever to participate in an F1 weekend. This milestone was achieved at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan in 2014. Just 166 days later, he made history again by becoming the youngest driver ever to start a Grand Prix, which took place during the season opener in Australia in 2015.

At 17 years and 180 days old, Verstappen set another record by becoming the youngest driver to score a World Championship point. This occurred during the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2015.

Another significant moment in Verstappen’s career occurred when he was 18 years and 228 days old. He became the youngest leader of a Grand Prix during the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016. On the same day, he also became the youngest driver to stand on the podium in Formula 1.

The pinnacle of Verstappen’s career thus far came also in 2016, when he became the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix. This happened at 18 years and 228 days during the Spanish Grand Prix. This achievement catapulted him to global fame and etched his name in the annals of the sport.

Verstappen continued to break records. At 19 years and 44 days, he became the youngest driver ever to clock the fastest lap during the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2016. This demonstrated his speed and technical skills at such a young age.

At 23 years and 277 days, Verstappen achieved another milestone. He became the youngest driver ever to achieve a ‘grand slam’, which means he secured pole position, the fastest lap, led every lap, and won the race. This feat was accomplished during the Austrian Grand Prix in 2021.

Besides these youngest records, Verstappen has also achieved several firsts for the Netherlands in Formula 1. He was the first Dutchman to win a Grand Prix, which happened during the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016. This marked a historic moment for Dutch motorsport.

In 2019, Verstappen made history again by becoming the first Dutchman to secure a pole position. This occurred during the Hungarian Grand Prix. It proved his ability to clock the fastest lap time on a Saturday and start from the best position.

Verstappen’s Remarkable Achievements in Formula 1

In 2021, at Monaco, Verstappen achieved a significant milestone. He became the first Dutchman to lead the Formula 1 World Championship. This marked a turning point in his career and highlighted his competitive potential.

Historic Victory in Abu Dhabi

The pinnacle of Verstappen’s career so far came in Abu Dhabi in 2021, when he became the first Dutchman to win the Formula 1 World Championship. It was a historic moment for the Netherlands and confirmed Verstappen as one of the best drivers of his generation.

Continuing to Make History

Verstappen continued to make history. In Japan 2022, he became the first Dutchman with two Formula 1 World Championships. This demonstrated his consistency and ability to continue performing at the highest level.

Record-Breaking Performance in 2022

In 2022, Verstappen also achieved two performance records in a single F1 season. He set the record for the most victories in a single season, with 15 wins. Additionally, he collected the record for the most points scored in a single season, with 454 points.

Team Success with Red Bull

With Red Bull, he improved the record for most consecutive victories by a team in 2023. The previous record was eleven, set by McLaren in 1988. Max Verstappen improved this on behalf of Red Bull by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. This was victory number 12 in a row for the team.

2023: A Year for the Record Books

2023 appears to be a year for the record books. The dominant Red Bull in combination with a razor-sharp Verstappen is unstoppable. Max Verstappen became the first driver ever to win 10 Grand Prix in a row after the Monza Grand Prix. With this, he broke the 10-year-old record of Sebastian Vettel.

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