Max Ver­stap­pen


The sport’s youngest ever com­peti­tor on how it felt to fi­nally get his driv­ing li­cence, and why fol­low­ing team or­ders shoudn’t be

Most teenagers are slightly awk­ward in frame, and 18-year-old Max Ver­stap­pen, tall and spindly, is no ex­cep­tion. His look is de­cep­tively boy­ish, though, for there is no mis­tak­ing the condence of the fe­ro­cious com­peti­tor within.

He’s very happy on this warm evening in the Brazil­ian GP pad­dock at In­ter­la­gos. He’s just scooped three F1 Rac­ing awards, for Rookie of the Year, Over­take of the Year – that amaz­ing move around the out­side of Felipe Nasr at Spa’s daunting 270km/h Blanchi­mont – plus Drive of the Year for his fourth place in the wet at Austin.

It’s clear that you, the read­ers of F1R, have been im­pressed by Max’s speed, de­ter­mi­na­tion and en­thu­si­asm in his rst year of F1. He hasn’t been over­awed in his rookie sea­son, largely be­cause he’s been well grounded by his father, for­mer F1 racer Jos Ver­stap­pen, who is sit­ting along­side him as this in­ter­view com­mences. In­deed, he sits just within earshot as Max turns his at­ten­tion to the pile of ques­tion cards…

What would you say has been the high­light of your rookie year? Sian Wil­liams, UK I would denitely say Austin. It was a great race, I en­joyed it a lot and of course I was able to se­cure fourth po­si­tion – an award-win­ning fourth po­si­tion – thanks to the read­ers of F1 Rac­ing. It was very spe­cial.

If you could get two cur­rent F1 cars congured and equalised to ac­count for weight and body size, would you like to race your father? If so, on what track? And who would win? Scott Rost, USA Of course I would like to race my father, that would be very nice. And I would say Spa. Who would win? I don’t know. I think that my dad is still very fast, so… F1R: Have you ever driven against him in any­thing be­fore? MV: No, not re­ally. We haven’t had a chance to do that yet. Well, we have in video games but there was no chance for him to com­pete with me – I think that’s a gen­er­a­tional thing.

Max, what a great rst sea­son in F1. Are you sur­prised at how it has gone? Andy Wil­lis, UK A lit­tle bit sur­prised, but you al­ways have to be­lieve in your­self and it can also de­pend on what car you get. Luck­ily we’ve had a great car so

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