Ver­stap­pen gives F1 stars a run for the money

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

For­give the play on words - but For­mula One is on MAX­i­mum alert to the fast mov­ing threat of a won­der­boy. He is teenager Max Em­lian Ver­stap­pen, a sen­sa­tion in the off­ing, who claimed a spec­tac­u­lar sec­ond place to reign­ing cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton last time out in the Bri­tish Grand Prix at Sil­ver­stone.

The Red Bull driver's dis­play which in­cluded his dar­ing over­take on cham­pi­onship leader Nico Ros­berg on the out­side, a bold move that took the Mercedes driver by sur­prise and stirred 140,000 spec­ta­tors - has been hailed up and down the pit lane. And Hamil­ton, rarely a racer to ea­gerly praise a ri­val, stresses the 18-year-old is a tal­ent to be feared as his de­vel­op­ment, un­der the shrewd guid­ance of Red Bull team boss Chris­tian mo­men­tum.

"Max is a force to be reck­oned with - and that's for sure," says three-time cham­pion Hamil­ton. "He is a real threat and I, and ev­ery­body else on the grid, will have to watch out for him. If he has a good car un­der­neath him, he is able to put up a great fight."

Ver­stap­pen, born in Bel­gium but claim­ing dual na­tion­al­ity as Dutch too, and rac­ing un­der a Hol­land li­cence, heads into only his 30th grand prix start in Hun­gary this Sun­day hav­ing been on the podium twice in suc­ces­sive races.

He is cur­rently sixth in the cham­pi­onship on 90 points and Horner, who pro­moted him from Toro Rosso, is still rav­ing en­thu­si­as­ti­cally about his Sil­ver­stone show­case, say­ing: "Max drove a fan­tas­tic race at the Bri­tish Grand Prix.

"His bold over­tak­ing move

Horner,

gath­ers on Nico, go­ing round the out­side, right on the edge, was just ter­rific. It was the highlight of the race as far as I was con­cerned. The crowds too. They loved it. And no won­der.

"Lewis is right on. Max is get­ting better and stronger ev­ery grand prix. Who knows what's to come? Even more I'd bet."

Ver­stap­pen, who be­gan kart rac­ing at the age of four, is the son of for­mer Dutch GP driver Jos. His father raced in 107 GPs with­out a win - and man­aged just three sec­ond places.

Max only made his de­but in Aus­tralia last year, but has al­ready topped his father's ca­reer-best with a re­mark­able vic­tory on his Red Bull de­but in Spain ear­lier this sea­son.

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