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Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 2017 Malaysia 3.jpg
Verstappen at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix
Born Max Emilian Verstappen
(1997-09-30) 30 September 1997 (age 20)
Hasselt, Belgium
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Netherlands Dutch
2018 team Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer[1]
Car number 33
Entries 67 (67 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 3
Podiums 13
Career points 471
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 4
First entry 2015 Australian Grand Prix
First win 2016 Spanish Grand Prix
Last win 2017 Mexican Grand Prix
Last entry 2018 Canadian Grand Prix
2017 position 6th (168 pts)
Previous series
2014 European Formula 3 Championship
Awards
2015, 2016
2015, 2016, 2017
2015
2016
FIA Action of the Year
FIA Personality of the Year

FIA Rookie of the Year
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy

Max Emilian Verstappen (Dutch pronunciation: [mɑks eːˈmilijɑn vɛrˈstɑpə(n)]; born 30 September 1997) is a Belgian-Dutch[2] racing driver who competes under the Dutch flag in Formula One with Red Bull Racing. Aged 17 years, 166 days, he became the youngest driver to compete in Formula 1 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix for Scuderia Toro Rosso.[3] He is also the youngest driver to lead a lap during a Formula One Grand Prix, youngest driver to set the fastest lap during a Formula One Grand Prix, youngest driver to score points, youngest driver to secure a podium and youngest Formula One Grand Prix winner in history.[4]

After spending the entire 2015 season with Scuderia Toro Rosso, he started his 2016 campaign with the Italian team, before being promoted into Red Bull Racing mid-season as a replacement for Daniil Kvyat. He won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix in his debut race for Red Bull Racing at the age of 18, becoming the youngest-ever winner of a Grand Prix and the first racing under the Dutch flag.[5] He is the son of former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen.

Family and personal life[edit]

Max Emilian Verstappen was born on 30 September 1997 in Hasselt, Belgium.[6] His family has a long association with motor sports: his father, Jos Verstappen, is a Dutch former Formula One driver, his Belgian mother, Sophie Kumpen, competed in karting,[7][8] and his uncle, Anthony Kumpen, has competed in endurance racing and is currently a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver.[7]

Although Verstappen resided in Bree, Belgium, he decided to compete with a Dutch racing licence because he "feels more Dutch", spent more time with his father than with his mother owing to his karting activities, and was always surrounded by Dutch people while growing up in Maaseik, a Belgian town at the Dutch border.[8] He competed in Formula One for more than half a season before obtaining a road driver's licence on his 18th birthday.[9] Verstappen has lived in Monaco since October 2015, claiming it was not for tax reasons.[10]

Early career[edit]

Karting[edit]

Verstappen began karting at age ​4 12. He competed in the Mini Junior championship of his home province of Limburg (Belgium).[11] In 2006, Verstappen graduated to the Rotax Max Minimax class and won the Belgian championship.[12] In 2007, Verstappen won the Dutch Minimax championship.[13] Racing in a CRG kart entered by his father, Verstappen won the Dutch and Belgian Minimax championship as well as the Belgian Cadet championship.[14][15]

In 2009, Verstappen joined Team Pex Racing, a CRG customer team. That year, he won the Flemish Minimax championship and the Belgian KF5 championship.[16][17]

In 2010, Verstappen stepped up to international karting. He was signed by CRG to race in their factory team at world and European championships. At the KF3 World Cup, Verstappen finished second to the more experienced Alexander Albon[18] but beat him at the WSK Euro Series and also won the WSK World Series, beating Robert Vișoiu.[19]

In 2011, Verstappen won the WSK Euro Series in a Parilla-powered CRG.[20] In 2012, Verstappen was picked for the Intrepid Driver Program to race in the KF2 and KZ2 classes. He won the WSK Master Series in the KF2 class, beating CRG driver Felice Tiene.[21] Verstappen won the South Garda Winter Cup in the KF2 class, beating Dennis Olsen and Antonio Fuoco.[22][23]

At the end of 2012, it was announced that Verstappen would leave Intrepid. After a short stint with CRG-built Zanardi karts, Verstappen returned to the factory CRG team.[24] He competed at the SKUSA SuperNationals in the KZ2 class in a CRG, finishing 21st. In 2013, Verstappen won the European KF and KZ championships. At the age of 15, Verstappen won the 2013 World KZ championship at Varennes-sur-Allier, France, in KZ1, the highest karting category.

Car racing debut[edit]

Verstappen's first experience in a racing car was at the Pembrey Circuit on 11 October 2013. He drove 160 laps in a Barazi-Epsilon FR2.0–10 Formula Renault car. The car was provided by Dutch team Manor MP Motorsport.[25] He tested for several Formula Renault 2.0 teams in 2013.[26] In December 2013, Verstappen tested a Dallara F311 Formula 3 car run by Motopark Academy. Another Formula Renault test came in December at Circuito de Jerez. Driving for Josef Kaufmann Racing, Verstappen went faster than Formula Renault regulars like Steijn Schothorst and Matt Parry.[27] At the Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia, Verstappen set a faster time than more experienced drivers including Tatiana Calderón and Eddie Cheever III.[28]

On 16 January 2014, it was announced Verstappen would make his racing debut in the Florida Winter Series.[29]

Formula racing[edit]

Formula Three[edit]

Verstappen competing in the FIA European Formula Three Championship in 2014

In 2014, Verstappen drove in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for Van Amersfoort Racing.[30] He finished his maiden car racing season third, behind champion Esteban Ocon and runner-up Tom Blomqvist, winning 10 races in the process.

Formula One[edit]

Scuderia Toro Rosso[edit]

2014 season: First year under Toro Rosso[edit]

In August 2014, Verstappen joined the Red Bull Junior Team after testing a Formula Renault 3.5 car. He also considered an offer from Mercedes to join their driver development programme.[31] Six days later, he was confirmed as one of Scuderia Toro Rosso's drivers for the 2015 season.[32] It was confirmed that Carlos Sainz Jr. would be Verstappen's teammate, following Daniil Kvyat's promotion to Red Bull Racing. Verstappen chose 33 as his race number.

By taking part in the first free practice at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, Verstappen became the youngest driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend, as part of his preparation for a full-time place with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015.[33]

2015 season: Youngest full-time driver[edit]
Verstappen driving for Toro Rosso at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

In January 2015, the FIA launched a new super licence system for Formula One, raising the age limit to 18 from the 2016 season onwards.[34] Verstappen became the youngest driver to start a World Championship race by joining the sport a year before this licence restriction, in his Grand Prix début as a full-time driver at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years, 166 days – breaking Jaime Alguersuari's existing record by almost two years.[35] In this first race, Verstappen won points-scoring positions until he was forced to retire due to an engine failure.[36] However, at the subsequent race in Malaysia, 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.[37] After that he then failed to finish with points in China, due to engine failure in the last lap, Bahrain, due to electrical issues, Spain, settling for 11th.

At the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, Verstappen was involved in a high-speed collision with Romain Grosjean, after clipping the back of the Lotus on the approach to Sainte Devote and flew nose-first into the barriers at high speed.[38] Verstappen was given a five-place grid penalty for causing the accident, and was branded "dangerous" by Williams driver Felipe Massa – although Verstappen hit back at Massa by pointing out he had himself been involved in a similar incident with Sergio Pérez at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix.[39]

Verstappen continued to regularly finish in the points as well as achieving his best finish of the 2015 season in Hungary by finishing 4th and equalled this result at the United States Grand Prix. At the end of the season, Verstappen received three awards at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, for Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year for his overtake on Felipe Nasr through the outside of the Blanchimont corner at the Belgian Grand Prix.[40]

2016 (with Toro Rosso): A frustrating start[edit]
Verstappen celebrating victory at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, in his first race for the Red Bull Racing team

Verstappen began the 2016 season at Toro Rosso, again alongside Sainz. Verstappen qualified fifth for the opening race of the season in Australia, but during the race made several radio calls to his team due to frustration at being behind Sainz on track before clipping his teammate whilst attempting to pass him with three laps to go, and he eventually finished tenth.[41] Verstappen enjoyed a more successful weekend at the following race in Bahrain, finishing sixth to score Toro Rosso's first ever points at the Sakhir circuit.[42]

Red Bull[edit]

2016 (with Red Bull): Youngest race winner[edit]

Following the Russian Grand Prix, Red Bull announced that Verstappen would be replacing Daniil Kvyat for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, with Kvyat returning to Toro Rosso. According to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, "Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent. His performance at Toro Rosso has been impressive so far and we are pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing."[43] After qualifying fourth for the Spanish Grand Prix,[44] Verstappen rose to second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap after Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out of the race. Verstappen took the race lead as he was placed on a two-stop rather than the same three-stop strategy as Ricciardo, and he held off Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen in the later stages of the race to take his first Formula One victory. By doing so he displaced Sebastian Vettel as the youngest driver ever to win a Formula One Grand Prix at the age of 18 years and 228 days.[5]

In his first eight races with Red Bull he achieved six top-five finishes, including four podiums.

During the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen collided with Räikkönen at the first corner, pushed Vettel, Räikkönen and Pérez wide at Les Combes, and aggressively blocked Räikkönen on the Kemmel straight.[45] Verstappen was criticised for his driving, with Räikkönen saying that he "was going to cause a huge accident sooner or later"; Verstappen's boss, Horner, said that the driving was "on the edge", and that "Verstappen will learn from Belgium".[46] On 2 September 2016 F1 director Charlie Whiting called in Verstappen for a discussion. Whiting gave Verstappen a gentle warning because of his aggressive driving.[47] However, in October drivers' concerns about Verstappen's defensive tactics led the FIA to disallow moving under braking.[48]

At the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen qualified fourth.[49] In a rain affected race, he barely managed to avoid hitting the guardrail when he spun on the main straight. After an additional tyre change from intermediates back to rain tyres, he ran in 16th place with just 15 laps remaining. Verstappen then made several overtakes in the closing laps to eventually finish on the podium in third place.[50] He received considerable praise for his performance, with his team principal Christian Horner calling it "one of the best drives I've seen in Formula One".[51] However, he came under criticism from Sebastian Vettel, who claimed that Verstappen had pushed him off the track when he gained a position on him at Junção corner late in the race. The race stewards did not share Vettel's view and decided that no reprimand was warranted.[52]

2017 season: An unlucky season[edit]
Verstappen at the 2017 British Grand Prix

During the first 14 races of the 2017 season, Verstappen suffered seven retirements, four due to mechanical issues,[53] and three due to first lap collisions in Spain, Austria and Singapore.[54] Of the races finished, however, he claimed a third place in China, and another five races classified fourth or fifth.

From the Malaysian Grand Prix onward, Verstappen enjoyed a surge of success. He won his second Formula One race at the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, one day after his 20th birthday, passing Lewis Hamilton for the lead in the early stages of the race. He finished second in the following race in Japan.[55] He then finished third at the United States Grand Prix, but was classified fourth after his final lap overtake on Kimi Räikkönen was deemed illegal.[56] He then won his third Formula One race (and second in 2017) at the Mexican Grand Prix, after passing Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap and leading until the end of the race.[57]

2018 season: Tough start[edit]

In the first 6 races of the season, Verstappen had been involved in at least one incident in each race. In Australia, he qualified 4th, but fell behind Kevin Magnussen at the start. In his attempts to retake the position he ran wide multiple times and damaged his car. He then spun at Turn 1 and fell behind Romain Grosjean, a recovering Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg. He then managed, due to strategy and the retirement of the Haas cars to salvage 6th place, coming home behind Fernando Alonso, who had jumped him in the virtual safety car period.[58] At the next race in Bahrain, he crashed during qualifying and started in 15th place.[59] He had a productive first lap after which he found himself in the points while challenging Lewis Hamilton. He attempted an overtake on the reigning World Champion at the start of lap two, but collided with the Mercedes driver and suffered a puncture that ultimately led to suspension damage which forced him out of the race.[60]

At the next race, in China, he qualified 5th and had moved up to 3rd at the end of the first lap. Both Verstappen and teammate Ricciardo pitted for fresh tyres during the safety car and left them with a tyre advantage over the front-runners ahead. Verstappen tried to overtake Lewis Hamilton around the outside of Turn 6 but ran wide and off the track, resulting in Ricciardo overtaking him. Once he had dispatched of Hamilton for 4th place, he tried to take 3rd from Sebastian Vettel but he collided with the championship leader, causing him to fall to 8th, while receiving a 10-second penalty. Following this he, once again, passed the struggling Mercedes of Hamilton for 4th and finished in that position. However, he still finished 5th due to his 10-second penalty. Meanwhile, his teammate Ricciardo went on to win the race.[61]

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, he was embroiled in a race-long battle with Ricciardo for 4th place. After the Australian had beaten him to 4th on the grid, Verstappen seized the position following an early safety car restart. Ricciardo challenged many times for the place and eventually succeeded in passing his teammate. However, Ricciardo, supposedly on the more favourable strategy, fell behind Verstappen after the pit stops. He then tried another overtake but Max aggressively defended and ran into the back of the Dutchman's car, causing the retirement of both. The team blamed both drivers and the stewards reprimanded both drivers.[62] Verstappen bounced back in Spain with his first podium of the season by finishing 3rd behind the Mercedes cars, holding off Sebastian Vettel. However, the race was also not without incident as he had run into the back of Lance Stroll during the virtual safety car period, damaging his front wing. The damage his car was not severe and he held on to 3rd place.[63]

In Monaco, Verstappen made another error when he crashed near the end of the third free pactice session in an incident which closely resembled a crash he had at the same spot two years earlier.[64] His team could not repair his car in time for qualifying and he had to start last on a track which is notoriously difficult to overtake on.[65] Verstappen managed to salvage 2 points by finishing 9th place, overtaking 6 cars on track.[66] Team principal Christian Horner commented on Verstappen's start of the season, saying he "needed to stop making these mistakes" and that he could "learn from his teammate", while Dr Helmut Marko, head of driver development at Red Bull, said that Verstappen was "too impatient".[65] Verstappen, following Monaco, lied in 6th place in the championship with 35 points, only 3 points ahead of Alonso in a much slower Mclaren, and 37 points behind his teammate in 3rd, who had taken two wins in the first 6 races.

Racing record[edit]

Career summary[edit]

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles FLaps Podiums Points Position
2014 Florida Winter Series N/A 12 4 3 3 7 N/A 3rd
FIA European Formula 3 Championship Van Amersfoort Racing 33 10 7 7 16 411 3rd
Macau Grand Prix 1 0 0 1 0 N/A 7th
Zandvoort Masters Motopark 1 1 1 0 1 N/A 1st
Formula One Scuderia Toro Rosso Test driver
2015 Formula One Scuderia Toro Rosso 19 0 0 0 0 49 12th
2016 Formula One Scuderia Toro Rosso 4 0 0 0 0 204 5th
Red Bull Racing 17 1 0 1 7
2017 Formula One Red Bull Racing 20 2 0 1 4 168 6th
2018 Formula One Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 7 0 0 2 2 50* 6th*

* Season still in progress.

Complete FIA European Formula 3 Championship results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 DC Points
2014 Van Amersfoort Racing Volkswagen SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

5
SIL
3

2
HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

DNS
HOC
3

1
PAU
1

3
PAU
2

Ret
PAU
3

Ret
HUN
1

Ret
HUN
2

16
HUN
3

4
SPA
1

1
SPA
2

1
SPA
3

1
NOR
1

1
NOR
2

1
NOR
3

1
MSC
1

3
MSC
2

Ret
MSC
3

2
RBR
1

5
RBR
2

4
RBR
3

12
NÜR
1

1
NÜR
2

Ret
NÜR
3

3
IMO
1

Ret
IMO
2

2
IMO
3

1
HOC
1

1
HOC
2

5
HOC
3

6
3rd 411

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicates fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 WDC Points
2014 Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR9 Renault Energy F1‑2014 1.6 V6 t AUS MAL BHR CHN ESP MON CAN AUT GBR GER HUN BEL ITA SIN JPN
TD
RUS USA
TD
BRA
TD
ABU  –  –
2015 Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR10 Renault Energy F1‑2015 1.6 V6 t AUS
Ret
MAL
7
CHN
17
BHR
Ret
ESP
11
MON
Ret
CAN
15
AUT
8
GBR
Ret
HUN
4
BEL
8
ITA
12
SIN
8
JPN
9
RUS
10
USA
4
MEX
9
BRA
9
ABU
16
12th 49
2016 Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR11 Ferrari 060 1.6 V6 t AUS
10
BHR
6
CHN
8
RUS
Ret
5th 204
Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB12 TAG Heuer 1.6 V6 t ESP
1
MON
Ret
CAN
4
EUR
8
AUT
2
GBR
2
HUN
5
GER
3
BEL
11
ITA
7
SIN
6
MAL
2
JPN
2
USA
Ret
MEX
4
BRA
3
ABU
4
2017 Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB13 TAG Heuer 1.6 V6 t AUS
5
CHN
3
BHR
Ret
RUS
5
ESP
Ret
MON
5
CAN
Ret
AZE
Ret
AUT
Ret
GBR
4
HUN
5
BEL
Ret
ITA
10
SIN
Ret
MAL
1
JPN
2
USA
4
MEX
1
BRA
5
ABU
5
6th 168
2018 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB14 TAG Heuer 1.6 V6 t AUS
6
BHR
Ret
CHN
5
AZE
Ret
ESP
3
MON
9
CAN
3
FRA AUT GBR GER HUN BEL ITA SIN RUS JPN USA MEX BRA ABU 6th* 50*

* Season still in progress.
† Did not finish, but was classified as he had completed more than 90% of the race distance.

References[edit]

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