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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen Biography

Having clinched his second F1 World Championship in 2022 with four races to spare, Max Verstappen is now aiming to secure a third consecutive title in the upcoming season.

Personal information

NameMax Emilian Verstappen
TeamRed Bull
Date of Birth30 September, 1997
Place of BirthHasselt, Belgium
Race Number1

F1 Career

World titles2
WC points2011.5
Podium places77
Pole positions43

Max Verstappen started his career in lower racing classes before making his debut in Formula 1 in 2015, and he has been a member of the Red Bull Racing team since 2016. In 2021, he finally achieved his first opportunity to compete for the world title and emerged victorious by outperforming Lewis Hamilton in the championship battle. As Honda departs and new regulations are implemented for the 2022 season, the pressing question is whether he can successfully defend his title.

A young start to the journey to the top

Max Verstappen, the son of former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen, was introduced to the racetrack at a young age, which became a passion that he pursued in karting and Formula 3, eventually leading him to the premier class of motorsport, Formula 1.

He began his motor racing career in Formula Renault 2.0 cars and the Florida Winter Series after several years of winning multiple world titles in karting. Following this, he progressed to Formula 3, where he won several races but finished second to French driver Esteban Ocon, who later became his Formula 1 rival, in the 2014 championship.

This setback did not hinder his overall career trajectory, as he had already made the leap to Formula 1. He spent one year driving for Van Amersfoort Racing in Formula 3 before joining the Red Bull team, where he experienced tremendous success and established himself as a top driver in the sport.

Red Bull junior

Despite not winning the Formula 3 championship, Max Verstappen was recruited by the Red Bull junior program and quickly impressed Helmut Marko, who offered him a spot on Scuderia Toro Rosso for the 2015 season.

At the age of seventeen, he made history as the youngest driver to ever participate in a Formula 1 race, sharing the grid with 20-year-old Carlos Sainz in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. In his debut race, he was poised to earn points before being forced to retire due to a technical issue.

Despite this setback, Verstappen came very close to securing a podium finish twice during his first season in Formula 1, at the Hungarian and United States Grands Prix. He ultimately finished in fourth place both times. However, his fortunes would change rapidly in 2016.

Promotion to Red Bull Racing

In 2016, after only four races, a monumental announcement shook the world of Formula 1: Max Verstappen was named as the replacement for the sidelined Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull Racing, while Kvyat took Verstappen’s place at Toro Rosso. Interestingly, Kvyat had secured a podium finish in the race before the driver swap took place.

As a result, there was immense pressure on Verstappen to prove that Red Bull had made the right decision. He rose to the challenge during the Spanish Grand Prix race weekend, taking the helm of Red Bull’s Formula 1 car.

The race itself was unforgettable, with a chaotic first lap in which Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided and crashed out. Verstappen seized the opportunity and took the lead, ultimately going on to win the race and become the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen takes the lead at Red Bull Racing

The 2018 season saw the RB14 fall short of expectations, leading Max Verstappen to push the car beyond its capabilities in an effort to extract more performance from it. This approach resulted in a series of errors, culminating in a crash during the third practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, went on to claim pole position and ultimately won the race the following day.

However, a turning point occurred after the Monaco race weekend in Verstappen’s home country. He replaced his mistakes with impressive results, including podium finishes and victories, setting the tone for the remainder of the season.

Although Verstappen narrowly missed out on finishing third in the championship standings, his leadership had a profound impact on the team, prompting Ricciardo to switch to Renault.

Successful start of collaboration with Honda

In 2019, Max Verstappen began the Formula 1 season without his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who had moved to Renault, but with Pierre Gasly as his new teammate and Honda as the team’s power unit. Despite the changes, Verstappen assumed the role of team leader and exhibited a level of maturity that impressed many. Both Honda and the Red Bull team earned praise in interviews, with Verstappen enjoying his best season to date, claiming three victories and two pole positions. He finished third in the championship standings, surpassing both Ferraris in the process. Although Gasly was replaced by Alexander Albon due to poor performances, there was still optimism for the following year.

However, the partnership experienced some setbacks in 2020. Mercedes made significant improvements during the off-season, while Honda faced reliability issues in their pursuit of power, leading to a dominant season for Mercedes. Nevertheless, Verstappen ended the season on a high note by surprisingly winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The stage was set for an exciting battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

In 2021, Max Verstappen secured his inaugural Formula 1 world championship title.

In 2021, Red Bull Racing and Honda delivered on their promise to field a competitive team, with Max Verstappen leading the charge alongside his new teammate, Sergio Perez.

The Bahrain Grand Prix marked a turning point, as Honda’s powerful engine demonstrated impressive capabilities in its final season in Formula 1. While many expected Mercedes to dominate the season, Hamilton made several costly mistakes under pressure, allowing Verstappen to take a commanding lead in the championship standings. However, several races saw Verstappen unable to score points through no fault of his own, setting up an exciting second half of the season.

Despite this, Verstappen had amassed ten victories by the end of the season, including the highly anticipated return of the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort. In the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton’s Mercedes was back to form, threatening to secure his eighth title. However, a late safety car intervention upset the race’s dynamic, giving Red Bull Racing the opportunity to strategically place Verstappen on fresh tires.

In the final lap, Verstappen overtook Hamilton, securing his first-ever Formula 1 world championship with just a few corners to spare.

Max Verstappen in 2022

In 2022, Max Verstappen began the Formula 1 season as the reigning World Champion, opting to display the number 1 on his car instead of his usual 33. However, the new regulations introduced a degree of uncertainty about how the season would unfold.

Red Bull experienced a challenging start, with Verstappen and Sergio Perez both retiring due to mechanical issues at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Nevertheless, the team bounced back with six consecutive wins from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with Verstappen claiming five of them and building a comfortable lead in the championship.

Although Verstappen had his joint-lowest finish of the season at Silverstone, he returned to form with a win at the French Grand Prix. Red Bull went on to win every remaining race except for the Brazilian Grand Prix, securing the Constructors’ title before Verstappen clinched his second F1 World Championship on Honda’s home turf in Japan.

The final race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, saw Verstappen take his 15th victory of the year, breaking the record for the most wins in a single F1 season. However, there were some moments of controversy in Brazil, where he collided with Lewis Hamilton and refused to comply with a team order to allow Perez to overtake him on the last lap. The passing of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz was also a significant moment for the team, as they won the Constructors’ title at the subsequent race in the United States.

Max Verstappen will kick off the 2023 Formula 1 season

As a two-time World Champion, Max Verstappen will kick off the 2023 Formula 1 season with high expectations. However, Red Bull Racing will begin the season with a penalty, following a $7 million fine and the forfeiture of 10% of their aerodynamic development allowance for violating the 2021 cost cap.

Despite his strong showing in 2022, Verstappen acknowledges that his competitors may pose a greater challenge in the upcoming season. Nonetheless, Verstappen has signed a long-term contract extension with Red Bull, indicating that he will continue to fight for championships for many years to come.

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