Welcome To The Party Max Verstappen…
In the wake of Max Verstappen’s tremendous performance at the Brazilian grand Prix, where his gutsy drive has been hailed as among the best ever, the teenager’s father Jos Verstappen believes his boy will continue to improve.
Verstappen told reporters in Brazil, “I think he will only get better. He’s 19, his second year in Formula 1 and if he can deliver a race like this we have a lot of enjoyable years in front of us.”
The young Red Bull driver has already established himself as a tough competitor on track, fighting hard for every inch of track and along the way has attracted criticism from several of his peers, including four times world champion Sebastian Vettel.
But Verstappen senior says his son is not affected, “He doesn’t care, he doesn’t mind. I’m more into that and he says ‘shut up, it’s fine’. He doesn’t care.”
“We are not here for somebody else, we are here for ourselves. We are driving for Red Bull and we want to have the best possible result for them. He’s here to race,” added Jos who made 107 grand prix starts in Formula 1.
As my colleague Todd McCandless, better know as Negative Camber, says: “Max has arrived.” Of course you all know this as well and maybe I am a bit late coming to the Max-had-a-drive-to-remember-party. Nonetheless, I would not be a passionate F1 Blogger if I did not contribute my two cents.
And so here it is. In the context of the aforementioned article, it is safe to say that Verstappen is the real McCoy. I have written before that I was a bit suspicious of the young Dutchman and with good reason. I commonly read about how great the newest F1 driver is only to watch time and time again as the new unbelievable talent fails to materialize.
I have seen so many new drivers come and go that when I read about a certain driver that had a promising career in F1 racing for so and so, but now is in another category racing a no and no, I sometimes cannot remember them ever being in F1. I wonder to myself, how the hell do I not remember this guy??? But there’s just been so many.
That clearly will not be the case with Verstappen. The kid has got the goods and they are being put to good use at Red Bull. If I was Daniel Ricciardo I would be making sure that I brought my A-game to each and every race. What is the first rule of F1? There are many to be honest, but the one that I am referring to is: You first must beat your teammate.
This year Ricciardo did just that in regards to points but you would have to say Verstappen at the very least matched Ricciardo as far as carving out attention that has garnered several headlines. Holding Kimi Raikkonen at bay in Spain, what a brilliant drive. Finding the podium when it was not expected on several occasions, excellent. And of course most recently the last fifteen or so laps in Brazil, mind blowing.
I propose that with the result Verstappen delivered in Brazil he has officially taken the mantel that Fernando Alonso took from Michael Schumacher by virtue of dethroning the seven time WDC. Does anyone remember Alonso holding Michael at bay in San Marino or driving right by the seven time WDC on the outside of 130R? The mantel was then taken from Fernando by Lewis Hamilton. Does anyone remember (a gutsy) Hamilton driving Alonso of the track in Canada in only his second race as a rookie and then to go an and take his first win at that race? Moving right alone Sebastian Vettel next took the mantel from Hamilton. Does anyone remember Monza where Vettel out smarted Hamilton and McLaren for his first pole and then took a commanding race win – in the rain? Does anyone remember 2010,2011,2012 or 2013??? Max, you are the latest young hotshot and the one to watch.
In each case the new hotshot achieved a race win, a front row, a pole or a combination of the three at a younger age than the previous hotshot. So it’s not your imagination that the hotshot looks younger every year. How F1 has changed from the days of Clay Regazzoni, Carlos Reutemann, and Alan Jones to name just a few. The days when race car drivers looked like men, real men. Alas youth now populates the grid. Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz, all look just too young to be racing cars and yet they are.
Back to Max. Teenager Max, Magic Max, Babyface Assassin Max. I think his dad is 100% accurate, I think Max will just get better and better and better, I think he will just get faster and faster and faster, and as soon as his car is up to snuff, well I think everyone better look out because the cycle is in full swing with the pendulum swinging Max’s way and if Brazil is anything to go by, he has everyone in his cross hairs…
-j (and I wish Alonso would get back to the party) p-