A year ago when it was announced that Toro Rosso would be taking on then 17-year-old Max Verstappen as their next recruit for the 2015 Formula 1 season there was plenty of doubt throughout the paddock.
Claims were made that the Belgian born Dutch lad was far too young to be driving in the sport and that there was no way he could compete against the likes of 30-year-old world champions. But boy has he proved the doubters wrong.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 25, 2015
Verstappen has fast become a shining light in the sport, fearless with his overtaking and always pulling out all the stops to ensure his car is as highly placed as possible in both qualifying sessions and the race itself.
Sure there have been a few tough times such as his crash with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean in Monaco but Grosjean himself can’t really complain following his own 2012 Belgian Grand Prix disaster, where he took out both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. It all comes with experience and despite some mistakes Verstappen has really shown his maturity throughout this season.
— AUTOSPORT (@autosport) June 4, 2015
The son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen Max has always had a lot to live up to, growing up in karting and motorsport. He worked his way into the sport via Formula Three, where he finished in third position, progressing into the higher tier of F1 only a year later.
Verstappen is the youngest Formula 1 driver in history and even competed in the championship for the majority of the season without a normal road license, meaning that he had to be chauffeured to each race by his father. By his second ever race in Malaysia he had even managed to finish in sixth position, becoming the youngest ever points scorer in F1.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 21, 2015
So far this season he has had four retirements but has also finished in the top ten a total of eight times; he is also currently sitting in tenth position in the championship standings. Not bad for a debut season in Formula 1.
In Hungary in July of this year Max finished in fourth position, just missing the podium, and seems to have no fear passing drivers, whether they are ex-world champions or previous race winners.
In Texas last weekend rain did cause a lot of retirements but Verstappen managed to equal his best performance yet by finishing in fourth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez (who rounded off the podium in Russia) and McLaren’s Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion.
Through numerous interviews and TV appearances Max seems to show himself as a great role model for any youngsters looking to get into the sport. He is dedicated and motivated, often completing simulators for coming races directly after returning home, clearly working hard for the position he now finds himself in.
Image: Facebook, Max Verstappen Fanclub – Max at home with his simulator
Off-track Verstappen does genuinely seem like a nice guy, up for a laugh and thoroughly enjoying himself in the job that he loves. He’s definitely a star in the making to keep a firm eye on and will surely have a world championship under his belt in the near future.
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