Categories: Sports

Max Verstappen can be crowned Formula 1 champion and realize a family destiny | Other Sports | sports

Max Verstappen can be crowned Formula 1 champion and realize a family destiny | Other Sports | sports

The Dutchman was the youngest winner, at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016, at 18 years, 7 months and 15 days, in his first season with Red Bull.

Born to win in Formula 1, the Dutchman Max Verstappen He can fulfill his mission at the age of 24, becoming Formula 1 world champion for the first time this Sunday, a destiny that his parents, both drivers, began to forge.

“The whole family lived for the race, so I think that the person that Max is and what he achieves at this moment is something natural,” said his manager Raymond Vermeulen to the AFP, who knows what he’s talking about.

He was already associated with his father, the Dutchman Jos Verstappen, 107 races between 1994 and 2003, with two podiums the first year.

His mother, Sophie Kumpen, was the partner of another Formula 1 world champion, Jenson Button, in karting. The Belgian was “a fantastic driver, very fast,” recalled the Briton on the F1 podcast.

Nothing surprising because Max – always ahead of his age, according to his manager – became the youngest rider to start a grand prix, in 2015 at 17 years, 5 months and 15 days, wearing the colors of Toro. Rosso.

Then he was the youngest winner, at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, at 18 years, 7 months and 15 days, in his first season with Red Bull.

Records for earliness were left behind. If crowned on Sunday, the Dutchman, born in Belgium on September 30, 1997 and a long-time resident of Monaco, will become only the fourth youngest champion, at 24 years, 2 months and 12 days, by behind Sebastien Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

Tame your temper

Nor can it be said that he has wasted time. This season was the first in which his team has provided him with a car capable of rivaling the Mercedes of seven-time world champion Hamilton.

Insolent in his early days, the impetuous Max has learned to tame his temper on the track, showing since last year a greater capacity for reflection and sympathy.

Far from that version that uselessly collided with Esteban Ocon in the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, before pushing the Frenchman in front of the cameras, or threatening the media when they asked him about his mistakes in Canada that same year.

He remains a driver who leaves nothing behind, as could be seen in his battles with Hamilton this year; in Great Britain, Italy or Brazil.

It must be said that the Dutchman had a good teacher: His father Jos was never the nicest man in the ‘paddock’.


But now ‘Mad Max’ is the undisputed leader of an ambitious team like Red Bull.

“It has simply grown in maturity. He has more experience in Formula 1 and in life, he is very comfortable, he is well in the team, with confidence and that is what he feels, “said his boss Christian Horner last year.

A maturity translated into results, with two third places in the World Cup, in 2019 and 2020, the best possible result behind the untouchable Mercedes.

True to some of his customs, Verstappen did not give many details last year about his change.

“I think you grow every year, you progress but you also learn to know your team better. It may seem like I’m serious or something like that, but I’m fun, I hope, ”he told AFP.

What he does not abandon is provocation. For example, when asked what his best purchase was, he replied: “My girlfriend”, referring to Kelly Piquet (daughter of triple F1 world champion Nelson Piquet), with whom he is frequently shown on social networks. (D)