Max Verstappen

Born:
30th September 1997 (Age 20)
Hasselt, Flemish Region (B)
Nationality:
Dutch
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

There are clear similarities between the early careers of Max and Jos Verstappen. Both were blisteringly quick in karts and both stayed in junior car racing ranks for as short a time as possible. But while his father ultimately struggled to live up to the hype, the teenage Max Verstappen's first two seasons as a Grand Prix driver suggested that a new star had arrived and included records that are unlikely ever to be beaten.

World Karting Champion and a season of Formula 3

The junior Verstappen’s karting career culminated in an exceptional 2013 season – the works CRG driver winning European titles in the KF and KZ classes. He then crowned those achievements by winning the KZ World Championship at Varennes-sur-Allier in France. Those he beat that day included former Toro Rosso F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari. Barely 16 years old, Verstappen tested both Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3 cars during the winter before deciding on the latter for his car racing debut.

Driving a Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara F314-Volkswagen in the 2014 European F3 Championship, he scored his first victory during its second weekend at Hockenheim. He then won all three races at successive weekends at Spa-Francorchamps and the Norisring as he chased fellow rookie Esteban Ocon for the title. Further victories in the Zandvoort Masters and at the Nürburgring had F1 taking note. Eventually runner-up behind the Frenchman, Verstappen joined Red Bull’s junior driver programme in August and was confirmed as a 2015 Scuderia Toro Rosso race driver just weeks later.

The youngest Formula 1 driver in history

The 17 year old replaced Alguersuari as the youngest driver to start a GP when he made his debut in Australia at the start of 2015. It is a record that is likely to stand the test of time for the FIA had already decided that from 2016, drivers must be at least 18 before racing in F1. There were the inevitable errors of youth, most notably at Monaco, but Verstappen's talent was plain for all to see. A fearless over taker, he qualified sixth and scored points in his second race (Malaysia) before finishing fourth in Hungary and the United States. Verstappen was named as the FIA's Rookie of the Year after finishing 12th in the final standings.

He began 2016 with Toro Rosso and scored points in the first three races of the year. Such was his form that Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull Racing for the Spanish GP and he responded by nursing his tyres to the finish to become the youngest GP winner in history. There were days when he overstepped the mark – must notably his defensive tactics at Spa and Suzuka – that earned the nickname “Mad Max” among his peers. But there were other races when he was sensational, especially in the wet. He finished second on four occasions and his exhilarating charge to third in Brazil drew comparisons with the likes of Ayrton Senna.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2017 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
16 0 3 1
7% win rate
111
2016 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
Scuderia Toro Rosso
21 0 7 1
5% win rate
5th 204
2015 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
19 0 0 0
0% win rate
12th 49
2014 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
0 (3) 0 0 0 0
2014 European F3 Championship
Van Amersfoort Racing
32 (1) 7 16 10
32% win rate
3rd 411

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