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Verstappen on the cover of TIME magazine: 'He is the sport's biggest risk'

Verstappen on the cover of TIME magazine: 'He is the sport's biggest risk'

08-11-2023 17:30

Max Verstappen is on the cover of Time Magazine, an American magazine which has been around for over 100 years and is known for its 'Person of the Year'. TIME followed Verstappen during the US Grand Prix at COTA and interviewed him.

Verstappen is at the campus of Red Bull's main sponsor Oracle, where he is meeting employees. He is, of course, watching racing. The Dutchman wants to win and is looking for a way to gain an advantage over the competitors. He gets on a van for a better overview of the small track. He tells TIME: "It just comes naturally to me to start thinking about these little advantages. I like to win


The article is full of praise for the three-time World Champion. Mario Andretti said: "Max is a talent that comes once in a generation. He’s a tiger inside." TIME highlights that Verstappen has taken over from Hamilton as the face of Formula 1, but also immediately casts some doubt on that: "Is Verstappen really the ideal ambassador for the sport? Unlike Hamilton, who is often seen with A-list celebrities and is producing a film with Brad Pitt, Max Verstappen has little desire to take over that role.''

Max's response to this is quite simply the following: "I have no desire to be able to hang out with famous movie stars."

Risk to the sport

Barton Crockett, research analyst for Rosenblatt Securities who covers Liberty Media, thinks Verstappen is a great driver. Still, there is a small caveat to that opinion: "As great as Verstappen is right now he looks like the biggest risk to the business." By this, he is referring to the fact that if Verstappen consistently pulls off victories, it is not good for the 'drama' surrounding the races. According to TIME, the fate of F1 depends on whether the boos Verstappen can now expect on the podium turn into cheers.

Impressions of others

When Verstappen raced in Formula 3, Helmut Marko quickly saw potential in him. "He was on another planet." He was so impressed that he immediately called Jos Verstappen and said: "I said, ‘Jos, forget everything. We do Formula One."

Daniel Ricciardo remembers how Max's first practice session in Formula 1 went: "He didn’t really care about taking a pragmatic approach. He was like, ‘I’m just gonna go and drive this thing and try to drive the wheels off of it. If I crash, I crash'," said Ricciardo. He continued: "All the learning other drivers did in the lower categories, out of the spotlight, he did under the scrutiny of the world’s media."

Private life

The article goes on to discuss Verstappen's private life. Since 2020, he has been in a relationship with Kelly Piquet, daughter of Nelson. He has also developed a beautiful relationship with Kelly Piquet's daughter, whom she had with Daniil Kvyat. "I’m not the father. That’s not the aim," Verstappen said. "It’s always very important that she has a good relationship with her own father, which she has. But I see her every day when I’m at home. We get on very well.'' At home in Monaco, he does not take a break from racing. His main hobby is sim racing. "I do watch other sports, but there is not really anything I am very passionate about," Max said. Kelly Piquet says she has her limits when it comes to racing: "There have been times where I’ve been like, ‘OK, time to switch off. You have to give a gentle reminder that the sun is shining outside and, you know, there are other things to do."

Weighing up success

He often starts talking about it: quitting Formula 1. "At one point, you have to outweigh the success against just general quality of life," Verstappen said. He continued: "I feel like I’m living out of a bag, out of a hotel, all the time. At the moment, that’s fine. I love driving. I love winning. But the older you get, maybe one day that’s not anymore what I want.”