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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen
Country: 
Full Name: 
Max Emilian Verstappen
Birth Date: 
29 September, 1997
Birth Place: 
Hasselt, Belgium
Driver Status: 
Current

1
Championship Titles

141
Races
20
Wins
13
Poles
1
Titles

Max Verstappen Biography

Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing F1 Driver

Max Verstappen Career Overview and Fast Links

  • Career Overview

  • Route to F1

  • F1 Scuderia Toro Rosso (2015)

  • F1 Red Bull (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

  • Fast Facts

Max Verstappen F1 Career Overview

Max Verstappen will compete with Red Bull Racing in the 2022 F1 World Championship for what will be his seventh season with the leading team and his eighth season in F1 outright.

The Dutchman defeated Lewis Hamilton in 2021 to claim his maiden F1 drivers' championship in a dramatic finale at the Yas Marina Circuit. 

Few drivers burst onto the scene as comprehensively as Max Verstappen did when he was given his F1 debut aged only 17 years and 166 days after just a single season of competing in cars.

In his corner was his ex-F1 racing father Jos Verstappen and Red Bull’s Junior programme but his surprise promotion to the top flight to Toro Rosso from F3 was still considered one of the most unprecedented and unexpected signings in the history of the sport.

As they say though, the rest was indeed history, Verstappen acquitting himself impressively during his rookie year before Red Bull rolled the dice again five rounds into the 2016 F1 season and promoted him again to its ‘A Team’, to which he responded claiming a sensational win on his debut..

From here Verstappen, despite not always having the best machinery on the grid, has become a revelation and regular thorn in the side of the otherwise dominant Mercedes contingent over the years, while his no-nonsense outspoken attitude and aggressive approach to racing has won him both fans and critics in the few short years he has competed.

To date [January 2021] Verstappen has won 20 races and 60 podiums, all with Red Bull.

Max Verstappen - Route to F1

Growing up with the racing blood coursing through his veins by virtue of his father - podium winner Jos Verstappen - Max may have been young when he made his F1 debut but it wasn’t so new to motorsport by this point having made his karting debut aged only four-years old.

By 2010 - aged 13 - Verstappen was succeeding in the international karting ranks, finishing runner-up to Alex Albon in the KFC World Cup before winning the WSK Euro Series and WSK World Series.

He continued to notch up karting titles right up to 2013 when - still only 15 - he was encouraged to make the jump to car racing. Initially he tested with a number of Formula Renault teams ahead of what was expected to be a move into the Eurocup for 2014.

But after testing with Motopark Academy, he was govern the chance to steer a Dallara F3 car, which caught the attention of Dutch-based rivals Van Amersfoort Racing, who subsequently signed him to their 2014 FIA European Formula 3 driver line-up

Max Verstappen - Van Amersfoort Racing F3

Max Verstappen - Van Amersfoort Racing F3

F3

A deal that generated immense publicity - both for his recognisable name and his young age - Verstappen perpetuated the buzz over the winter by winning races in the Florida Winter Series, an short championship arranged by Ferrari in cars equivalent to around the Formula Renault series.

Despite the fever surrounding his F3 exploits, Verstappen took the pressure in his stride in a team with a relatively modest F3 record (it had managed only a single podium in the previous two seasons), getting onto the rostrum on his debut at Silverstone before winning for the first time during Round 2 at the Hockenheimring.

Though this was interspersed with a series of non-scores, Verstappen powered back into the title reckoning with a remarkable run of six straight wins. Together with a trio of success later in the year, Verstappen secured third in the standings with ten wins from 30 races - more than champion Esteban Ocon and runner-up Tom Blomqvist.

During the period of his six straight victories, Verstappen’s stock rose to an extent he found himself in something of a bidding war among Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull to join their respective driver programmes.

Though Verstappen was expected to align with Mercedes, he instead chose Red Bull, in a deal that was anticipated to see him step into the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for 2015. Instead, Red Bull created a stir by giving him an FP1 outing at the Japanese Grand Prix with Toro Rosso, which having just turned 17 made him the youngest driver ever to drive on a grand prix weekend.

Impressing Helmut Marko, it was soon announced Verstappen would be fast-tracked straight into an F1 seat for 2015 with Toro Rosso.

Max Verstappen F1 Career (2015 - Present)

Max Verstappen - Scuderia Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen - Scuderia Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen 2015 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Toro Rosso - STR10 Renault
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish4th (Hungarian GP, USA GP)
-2015 F1 Points40 Points
-2015 F1 Championship Standing12th

At 17 years and 166 days, Verstappen’s race debut in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix made him by far the youngest driver to have ever competed in F1 at almost two years younger than the previous record holder Jaime Alguersuari.

Though his race craft occasionally lacked finesse, Verstappen’s ability to hone his nascent skills on the ultimate stage made him a fascinating litmus test for those who consider promoting him so quickly actually gives him a chance to develop among the best in the sport, rather than potentially adapt at a slower rate through series’ as GP2/F2.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there were incidents, notably him rear-ending Romain Grosjean at high-speed at Monaco, which overshadowed a race in which he shone as one of the few drivers able to complete overtaking manoeuvres around the famously tight street circuit having started last after a qualifying crash.

Scoring his first points on his second outing in Malaysia with a run to seventh, though errors were frequent - not helped by his Toro Rosso lacking reliability - Verstappen hit his stride mid-way through the year and by the end of the season had the measure of fellow rookie team-mate and Red Bull protege Carlos Sainz.

Making a number of Q3 appearances over the year, Verstappen impressed with a run to fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix, repeating the feat in the United States. He also won plaudits for unconventional overtakes not seen in F1 for some years, including an FIA award-winning moment during the Belgian Grand Prix when he overtook Felipe Nasr on the outside of the flat but tricky Blanchimont corner. 

Max Verstappen - Red Bull

Max Verstappen - Red Bull
Max Verstappen 2016 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Toro Rosso - STR11 Ferrari / Red Bull Racing RB12 TAG Heuer
-Races21 [Toro Rosso - 4 / Red Bull - 16]
-Wins1
-Podiums7
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (Spanish GP)
-2016 F1 Points204
-2016 F1 Championship Standing5th

Retained for 2016, Verstappen was already being tipped for a move into Red Bull Racing for 2017 but - after a strong opening to the year - instead got his shot from Round 5 onwards when he was called up to replace the out-of-favour Daniil Kvyat.

Making his big team debut at the Circuit de Catalunya, Verstappen qualified fourth before finding himself in the fight for the lead after the feuding Mercedes’ collided on lap one. When team-mate Daniel Ricciardo lost his chance of victory with an erroneous strategy, the path cleared for Verstappen to take a sensational victory.

Beyond the remarkable circumstances of winning on his Red Bull debut, it made him the youngest driver to win an F1 race (and stand on the podium) at 18 years and 228 days - almost three years younger than the erstwhile record holder, a then 21-year old Sebastian Vettel.

While opportunities to get the better of Mercedes were scant over the course of the year, Verstappen continued to rack up notable results with podiums in Austria, Britain, Germany, Malaysia, Japan and Brazil. 

He came close to a second win in Sepang as he hustled team-mate Ricciardo for a provisional second place finish, before the team intervened in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s retirement to assure what would be a 1-2 result.

However, it was his performance in Brazil that appeared to assure Verstappen’s legacy when - on a wet track - he pitted for fresh tyres with 16 laps to go. Dropping him to 16th position, the Dutchman’s deft wet weather driving style, most notably his use of outside lines on corners - a trick often used in karting - saw him scythe back up the order to third at the chequered flag. 

The performance was considered akin to Ayrton Senna’s 1993 European Grand Prix showing at Donington Park when he won by more than a minute in wet conditions. 

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25.11.2017 - Free Practice 3, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen 2017 F1 Results Overview
Red Bull Racing - RB13 TAG Heuer [Renault]
-Races20
-Wins2
-Podiums4
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (Malaysian GP, Mexican GP)
-2017 F1 Points168 Points
-2017 F1 Championship Standing6th

Coming into the 2017 season - his first full year with Red Bull - with the added weight of expectation, Verstappen suffered a slump during the first two-thirds of the year both as a consequence of his own errors and flaky reliability from the RB13 TAG Heuer (Renault).

After only a single podium finish from the opening 14 races, Verstappen’s season took a turn for the better with a  resounding win in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which he followed up with a second in Mexico two races later. Together with a run to second in Japan, he recovered to fifth in the final standings.

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25.11.2018 - Race, Press conference, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB14
Max Verstappen 2018 F1 Results Overview
Aston Matin Red Bull Racing - RB14 Tag Heuer [Renault]
-Races21
-Wins2
-Podiums11
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st( Austrian GP, Mexican GP)
-2018 F1 Points249 Points
-2018 F1 Championship Standing4th

In 2018 Verstappen paid the price for a difficult start to the year with only a single podium from the opening six rounds, before hitting a purple patch with a third in Canada, second in France and an unexpected win on Red Bull’s home soil in Austria after Rosberg and Hamilton collided ahead of him on the final lap.

However, Verstappen’s rising prominence within the Red Bull hierarchy compared with Daniel Ricciardo was not without its controversial moments, simmering tension that boiled over in an accident between the pair during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Round 4).

With the pair becoming frustrated with one another after repeated overtakes cost them time, they eventually collided on the high-speed run to Turn 1 after Ricciardo struck the back of his defending team-mate. 

Putting both out of the race and earning a stern rebuke from team boss Christian Horner, Verstappen - compared with Ricciardo - nonetheless bounced back with seven podiums from the last nine races, including a fourth career win in Mexico.

Earning Verstappen fourth in the final standings, a disillusioned Ricciardo defected to Renault to promote the Dutchman to undisputed No.1 status.

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13.10.2019- Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB15
Max Verstappen 2019 F1 Results Overview
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - RB15 Honda
-Races21
-Wins3
-Podiums9
-Pole Positions2
-Best Finish1st (Austrian GP, German GP, Brazilian BP)
-2019 F1 Points278 Points
-2019 F1 Championship Standing3rd

With Mercedes’ dominance showing no signs of slowing down coming into the 2019 F1 season, Verstappen found himself embroiled in the burgeoning ‘best of the rest’ fight alongside the two Ferraris

However, his results were generally perceived to be encouraging given Red Bull had made the decision to end its  long-standing relationship with engine suppliers Renault - which it had held since 2007 - in favour of Honda. The switch was seen as a significant risk for Red Bull given Honda had struggled for both pace and reliability on its return to the sport supplying McLaren between 2015-2017.

Nonetheless, after solid performances in the back of the Toro Rosso in 2018, Red Bull took on the Honda supply from 2019 and - in the hands of Verstappen - was an immediate podium contender. As such, Verstappen’s third place finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix was the first rostrum for a Honda-powered team since the 2008 British Grand Prix (Jenson Button).

This was upgraded to a superb first victory together in Red Bull’s backyard at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, marking Honda’s first win in F1 since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, again with Button.

More strong results followed with a win at Silverstone and another in Interlagos, which coupled to Ferrari’s form slumping in the closing stages of the year, secured him third in the standings again.

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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16.
Max Verstappen 2020 F1 Results Overview
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - RB16 Honda
-Races17
-Wins2
-Podiums11
-Pole Positions1
-Best Finish1st (70th GP, Abu Dhabi GP)
-2020 F1 Points214 Points
-2020 F1 Championship Standing3rd

Once again Red Bull came into the 2020 season playing second fiddle to a barely penetrable Mercedes front but Verstappen firmly established himself as an arm’s length but still ‘thorn in the side’ rival to the top team, as demonstrated when he got the better of both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to win the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. 

Amid a slew of podium results (nine from the first 13 races), coupled to a second win of the year in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen ended the season only nine points shy of the runners-up spot in third for a second year running. 

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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B.
Max Verstappen 2021 F1 Results Overview
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - RB16B Honda
-Races22
-Wins10
-Podiums18
-Pole Positions10
-Best Finish1st (Emilia Romagna GP, Monaco GP, French GP, Austrian GP, Styrian GP, Belgian GP, Dutch GP, United States GP, Mexico City GP, Abu Dhabi GP)
-2021 F1 Points395.5 Points
-2021 F1 Championship Standing1st

2021 was the year Red Bull finally was able to give its generational talent a car capable of taking on Hamilton and Mercedes. 

Verstappen took 10 wins, 10 pole positions and 18 podium finishes on his way to his maiden F1 drivers’ championship.

The Dutchman capitalised on Red Bull’s early-season advantage to build up a sizeable lead over Hamilton with a hattrick of wins in France and the two Austria rounds before a combination of misfortune and incidents ensured his lead disappeared. 

Despite Mercedes’ upturn in form in the second half of the season, Verstappen’s consistency and resilience were enough to secure the title in a dramatic showdown in Abu Dhabi.

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1st place and new World Champion, Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B.

Max Verstappen Fast Facts

  • Though his father raced under the Dutch flag, Verstappen had the option to race as a Belgian by virtue of his mother, racer Sophie Kumpen. However, he has said he chose Dutch because that is where he spent the majority of his time growing up

  • Verstappen’s rapid ascent to F1 prompted the FIA to introduce new rules that effectively made it impossible for his route to F1 to happen to be replicated. Unofficially known as ‘the Verstappen rule’, it lifted the minimum age of racing in F1 to 18-years old and decree drivers must accumulate a minimum of 40 points over three seasons in junior categories. As an example, an F2 and IndyCar Champion can get 40 points for winning the title, a Formula 3 Champion and Formula E would receive 30 points. Points earned decrease on a sliding scale to those who finish inside the top ten in a championship.

  • Based on this regulation, Verstappen - who finished third in his first full season of European F3 competition - would have gained 20 points towards his Super Licence, thus preventing him from making his debut today (he would have also been under the 18-year old threshold)

  • As a result of his quick introduction and success, Verstappen holds a number of ‘youngest’ driver F1 records including; 

    • Youngest driver to drive at a GP meeting (17 years, 3 days - 2014 Japanese Grand Prix FP1)

    • Youngest driver to start an F1 race (17 years, 116 days - 2015 Australian Grand Prix)

    • Youngest driver to score F1 points (17 years, 180 days - 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix)

    • Youngest driver to win an F1 podium (18 years, 228 days - 2016 Spanish Grand Prix) 

    • Youngest driver to win an F1 race (18 years, 228 days - 2016 Spanish Grand Prix)

    • Youngest driver to set a fastest lap (19 years, 235 days - 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix)