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Max Verstappen is a Formula 1 driver for the Red Bull Racing team. He is the son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen who he is now mentored by. Verstappen made his debut in Formula 1 back in 2015 when he debuted for Toro Rosso at the Australian Grand Prix. Verstappen’s rise has been rapid. He was promoted to the Red Bull team for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, a race which no one would have predicted.
In his brief career as a full-time driver, the Dutchman has broken record after record. He became the youngest driver to score points, the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix and the records just keep tumbling. Verstappen is partnered by Pierre Gasly in 2019 so expect him to be the main man for Red Bull.
|Team||Red Bull Racing|
Destined for Formula 1
Given Max Verstappen’s history in motorsport, with his father's career it’s no surprise where he is today. Jos Verstappen spent nine years in F1 collecting two podiums before bowing out at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix.
Max started karting at four and by the age of ten he had won the Dutch Minimax championship and the Belgian equivalent. In 2010 he signed with CRG and entered the world of international karting. That same year Verstappen and F1 rookie, Alexander Albon went head to head with each other at the KF3 World Cup. Verstappen finished second to Albon, but he took his revenge at the WSK Euro Series before beating Robert Visoiu to the world title. This was just the beginning…
Starting out in F1
After finishing third in the Formula 3 championship in 2014, Verstappen joined the Red bull junior team despite receiving an offer from Mercedes. Just six days later the Dutchman was confirmed as one of Toro Rosso’s drivers for 2015. Verstappen partnered Carlos Sainz in his first year and became the youngest driver to start a World Championship race. He broke the record of Jaime Alguersuari by two years at the 2015 Australian Grand prix.
Before his 18th birthday Verstappen became the youngest points scorer in Malaysia as well as failing to finish in China and Bahrain. He was branded “dangerous” by Felipe Massa for his involvement in a crash with Romain Grosjean at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix. However his stock continued to rise and he finished fourth in Hungary and then the US.
Rise with Red Bull
By 2016 Verstappen had already caused shockwaves in the sport and his rise only continued. It was announced that he’d replace Daniil Kyvat at Red Bull for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. With Daniel Ricciardo established as the main man it was up to Verstappen to force his way to the front. He stole the show in Spain by winning a memorable race which saw Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take each other out. By winning the race he became the youngest driver to win grand prix, outdoing Sebastian Vettel to the accolade.
In his first eight races, Max achieved four podiums. Verstappen had arrived!
Warnings for aggressive driving followed but Verstappen caught the attention of fans everywhere for his performance in Brazil in 2016. Verstappen was 16th with just 15 laps to go but he stormed through the field to take third, cementing himself as a real contender.
A tough start to 2017 set the 21 year old back. He suffered seven retirements from 14 races three of which were caused by first lap collisions. However, he finished his first full season at Red Bull strongly. He claimed victory in Malaysia and Brazil, all at the age of 20.
2018 was much the same, claiming victory in Austria but controversies in the first six races overshadowed this. As the season got older Verstappen matured, defending his crown in Mexico before being denied in Brazil following a clash with Esteban Ocon. He was arguably the most improved driver of 2018 as he relished being the number one driver with Daniel Ricciardo destined for Renault.
For all of Verstappen’s talent he sure does come with controversy. A high profile collision in Monaco with Romain Grosjean in his debut season set the tone for what was to come. Incidents in Australia, Bahrain and China followed but people have started to accept that is what you get with Verstappen.
In 2018 Verstappen had to do community service at the Marrakesh EPrix for pushing Force India driver, Esteban Ocon. Verstappen was leading the Brazil Grand Prix before Ocon tried to unlap himself, taking out the race leader in the process. A tense encounter followed and Ocon was slapped with a ten second penalty.
The speed, aggression and raw talent has certainly made Max Verstappen a household name in F1.
Max Verstappen has a net worth of an estimated $10 million and it is expected to rise given his potential within the sport. Verstappen was raised in Belgium but decided to race under the Dutch flag because he "feels more Dutch". The Dutchman has lived in Monaco since 2015 and has stated it is not for tax purposes.
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