Here’s How Max Verstappen Became An F1 Star

Max Verstappen is considered to be a child prodigy and was roped in by the Red Bull F1 at a young age. He directly moved from F3 to F1 at the age of 17. He has always been tagged as the next big thing in the Formula One scene. He was always been anticipated by Formula One fans thinking that he will be the next Lewis Hamilton. The fans were in for a surprise when he beat some records Hamilton has done. With his skills and talent, he was labelled as one of the best Formula One drives in the grid by former drivers, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

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Early Life And Discovering Passion for Racing

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Max Emilian Verstappen was born on September 30, 1997 in Hasselt, Belgium to father Jos Verstappen and mother Sophie Kumpen. His parents separated while he was young and he lived with father while his younger sister lived with his mother. His father then remarried and soon he had three younger half siblings from his father. However his father’s second marriage failed and his father remarried once again, leaving Verstappen with additional two half siblings. He got his interest for Formula One since his father was a former Dutch Formula One driver, and his mother used to compete in karting. For this reason, he had a long association with the motor sports.

When he was about two years old, he used to drive quad bikes around their family garden. His parents then took him to go karting in the karting tracks near their home. He got interested in karting since he saw his friend karting and asked his father if he could buy him a kart. His father bought him a go-kart when he was about four years old and he went on to win his first karting race at age seven. When he turned nine years old, he was already a champion in Belguim and Netherlands. Max’s father wanted to support Max and focus on him exclusively, because of this Arrows F1 driver Jos Verstappen decided to retire and focus on Max.

Local Race and Going International

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Verstappen soon entered into the racing, although he was born and raised in Bree, Belgium, he decided to compete with Dutch racing license since he feels more Dutch because of the time he spent with his father. He also thinks that he was raised as a Dutch person and that’s just how he feels. He started competing in Formula One for more than one season before even obtaining a road license when he turned eighteen. He then moved to Monaco a day after he turned eighteen and has lived there since. Although some speculate that he did this for tax reasons, he denied these speculations and said that he just like staying there.

Verstappen developed an extraordinary mastery for the racing vehicles and only a handful of racers are able to make difference in the first two rounds of the race. With his skills at a very young age, he started competing in the Mini Junior championship held at their province in Limburg, Belgium. Verstappen then graduated from the Rotax Max Minimax class in 2006 and then won the Belgian championship. The following year, he won the Dutch Minimax championship. Verstappen decided to join the CRG cutomer team, Team Pex Racing, in 2009 and that same year, he won the Belgian KF5 championship and the Flemish Mini Max championship.

With so much experience and skills gained from his numerous races, he decided to step into the international karting in 2010. He signed with the CRG to race at their factory team at World and European championships. Verstappen finished second place to Alexander Albon at the KF3 World Cup. With his skills, he got to redeem himself and beat him at the WSK Euro Series.The two of them later on became teammates at the Red Bull Racing. After a year, Verstappen won another race at the WSK Euro Series which is a Parilla-powered CRG. Verstappen then decided to enter the race of KF2 and KZ2 classes at the Intrepid Driver Program in 2011. He went on to win numerous races in the succeeding years following his decided to enter KF2 and KZ2.

Joining Red Bull Team and Entering Formula 1

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It was in 2014 that the team of Verstappen announced that he would be making his racing debut at the Florida Winter Series. As soon as Verstappen debut, he won the race at the Palm Beach International Raceway. After a few weeks, he won once again at the Homestead–Miami Speedway beating Nicholas Latifi by 0.004 seconds. It was announced in 2016 that he will be joining the Red Bull Racing from the Spanish Grand Prix replacing Daniil Kvyat. During the announcement, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that Verstappen has proven numerous times that he is an outstanding young talent and his performance at the Toro Rosso is nothing but impressive. He did not disappoint the team as he took the race lead in at the Spanish Grand Prix and by doing so; he displaced Sebastian Vettel as the youngest driver to ever win Formula One Grand Prix at the age of 18 years old and 228 days.

Verstappen went on to compete more in the coming years. However, his career took the surge of success when he entered the Malaysian Grand Prix. He won his second Formula One race at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2017. He won just a day after his 20th birthday, beating three time champion Lewis Hamilton. The following race held in Japan, he finished second and then third at the United States Grand Prix. He then won his third Formula One race at the Mexican Grand Prix beating Sebastian Vettel.

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Sources: Fox Sports, Formula 1, Essentially Sports, Auto Sports

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