Max Verstappen

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Career

Max Emilian Verstappen was born on September 30, 1997 in the Hasselt hospital. Max showed excellent timing as it meant both parents could enjoy the company of Verstappen junior before Jos travelled to Suzuka to contest the Japanese Grand Prix for Tyrrell ten days later.

In 2007, his third year in karts, Max is allowed to step up a category. He now contests the Mini Max class of the Belgian Rotax Max Challenge. In this class, all participants drive similar karts, but Max continues where he left off the previous year: winning. In emphatic style, he wins every race on the series’ calendar and is crowned Mini Max Belgian Rotax Max Challenge champion.

After the two titles in 2007, Max is keen on prolonging his successful karting career. He does so in style as he wins not two, but three championship titles. However, 2008 also marks the year in which his unbeaten run ends.

The 2010 season is an exciting new step in Max’ career. As he reaches the age of 12, he can now compete against the very best drivers in karting. In his first year at an international level, Max secures a spot on the Italian CRG factory team which means he has a busy year ahead of him. Apart from lots of testing, the youngster will compete in the Winter Cup, the WSK Euro and World Series, the WSK Nations Cup, the CIK-FIA European Championship and the CIK-FIA World Cup. At all the events, spread out over fourteen race weekends across the world, Max competes in the KF3 category (drivers between 12 and 15 years of age).

The 2013 season is Max’ final as well as his most successful year in karting. The 15-year-old is crowned world and double European champion driving his CRG-kart powered by TM-engines. On top of that, Verstappen junior wins three other championships as he dominates both the manual (KZ) and the automatic (KF) transmission categories in world karting.

2014 marks the debut year in car racing for Max Verstappen. The 16-year-old flies to Miami to participate in the Florida Winter Series in January and February. The series are supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy and its main goal is to prepare budding young racing drivers for a professional motorsport career. The participants compete at three American race tracks across four rounds, each consisting of three races. The drivers drive identical Tatuus FA010B Formula Abarth single seater racers.

After several useful winter tests, in which he completes plenty of laps and gains valuable data and experience, Max makes his Formula 1 race debut in Melbourne. At the Australian Grand Prix, Max became the youngest ever F1 driver. He gets off to a good start, but unfortunately an engine failure prevents the youngster from scoring points. Nevertheless, his strong performance shows he hit the ground running.

In 2016, Max commences his second campaign with Toro Rosso after a successful debut in Formula 1 during his first season. In Australia, Max superbly qualifies in fifth, unfortunately this result couldn’t be kept alive in the race where he eventually came in tenth fastest. In Bahrain and China he finishes quite decently in the points coming in sixth and eighth. In Russia, Max is heading for a sixth place finish when his engine dies on him.

After a successful 2016, in which Max made the switch from Scuderia Toro Rosso to Red Bull Racing – winning his first Grand Prix and claiming seven podium finishes in the process – the expectations for the 2017 season are high.

2018 is the fourth season for Max Verstappen in Formula 1. Just like in 2017 this year has as difficult start for Max. After a spin during the first race of the season in Australia, the Dutchman finishes sixth. The subsequent race ends in a DNF after Max ran into Hamilton. In China both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers seem to head towards a one-two finish because of a smart strategy. Unfortunately, Max runs into Sebastian Vettel during an overenthusiastic overtake, and he finishes in P5. It goes from bad to worse in Baku when Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo run into each other after a firm battle and both retire from the race. A third place in Spain is the first podium for the Dutch driver in 2018.

2019 marks a year of change for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Not only does the team switch to a new engine partner, Honda, but Max Verstappen has to battle a new team mate, Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman has graduated from Scuderia Toro Rosso and replaces the Renault bound Daniel Ricciardo.

In the end, 2019 is Max’ most successful season in Formula 1 thus far with a third place in the championship (278 points), two pole positions and three wins build the excitement for a title mounting campaign in 2020.