Last year the sport was shocked at the arrival of the seventeen year old rookie Max Verstappen. There were many questions about if a young teenager was ready for the start of his F1 career just aged seventeen?
Verstappen is compared and a product of the highly successful Red Bull Young Driver Program. The RBDP has received mixed results and some criticism especially after it has discarded drivers after two seasons. But Verstappen may be different because we see his ability to overtake were no one else can.
Many were shocked at how a boy with just a season of car racing could be ready for the pressure of the pinnacle of single seater racing. The young Dutchman has been described by many as the best of two of the greatest drivers the great Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Watching him drive you can see the great initiative that he has on track.
But he isn’t perfect like every driver he does make mistakes but when you look at his CV aged nine he took part in his first championship, the Belgium Championship Mini (VAS) where he won all 21 races. By 2013, Max had won just about everything karting had to offer.
His race craft is basically get out my way and passing where ever he can which he hasn’t always been able to pull off. However, he can race and isn’t scared of taking on the big teams.
In 2015 he wasn’t the best Toro Ross driver statistically the best driver for the team. But does this really matter as he’s eighteen in his third year of single seater and second season of Formula One. He is learning at the top fight of motorsport.
Senna of the era?
The story of Verstappen reminds me of the greatest driver in grand prix racing the late Ayrton Senna. Senna started a year later than Verstappen aged four in go-karts but he had the same will and abilities to get the maximum result in races.
He isn’t the most rounded driver on the grid but you can forgive that given his age and in experience on track. Senna wasn’t perfect nor was Schumacher or even Fangio you will never get a perfect racing driver or person.
Like everyone even he was surprised at his debut season and if he continues to impress he will be in a big team and even in twenty years a multiple world champion.
So watch this pace and remember the name Max Verstappen!
- He was born in Belgium to Jos Verstappen in Hasselt on September 30th 1997
- He will be the youngest driver ever to start a Grand Prix after regulation changes put a minimum age of 18 to start a race