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Max Verstappen

30th September 1997 (Age 22)
Hasselt, Flemish Region (B)
Most recent race (in database):

There were early similarities between the 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 did not live up to the hype, the younger Verstappen established himself as a Grand Prix winner and arguably the most exciting talent of his generation.

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.

Grand Prix winner for Red Bull Racing

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 F1 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 simply 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.

As forceful as ever, Verstappen maintained his impressive speed into 2017. However, repeated retirements included being the unwitting victim when the Ferraris collided at the start in Singapore and restricted the increasingly frustrated Dutchman to sixth overall. That said, he passed a cautious Lewis Hamilton to win in Malaysia and then dominated the Mexican GP. Verstappen out-qualified Daniel Ricciardo 13-7 as he reinforced his reputation with Red Bull.

Red Bull team leader

His place as Red Bull’s lead driver was confirmed during 2018, to the point that Ricciardo decided to leave at the end of the year. Verstappen responded to a difficult start to the year that included losing potential race wins in China and Monaco, by scoring his fourth GP victory in Austria on Red Bull’s home circuit. A second win followed in Mexico but he was knocked out of the lead in Brazil when Force India’s Esteban Ocon tried to un-lap himself. Verstappen scored 11 podium finishes as he claimed fourth in the World Championship.

Red Bull switched to Honda engines for the 2019 season and Verstappen delivered the new partnership’s first podium finish at the opening round in Australia. Initially slower than the new Mercedes and Ferrari, the Red Bull RB15-Honda grew more competitive as new upgrades became available. Consistency was added to his blistering pace and Verstappen finished in the top five at every race before the summer break. That run included another victory at the Red Bull Ring (Honda’s first since its comeback) and at Hockenheim.

He qualified on pole position for the first time in his F1 career at the Hungaroring but was beaten into second when Hamilton made an extra pitstop. A penalty in Mexico cost him pole and another possible victory, but he converted his second pole position at Interlagos into his third victory thanks to passing Hamilton twice on the track. Having overshadowed his team-mates all year, Verstappen beat both Ferrari drivers to finish third overall after another impressive campaign.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2020 F1 World Championship
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
9 0 6 1
12% win rate
2019 F1 World Championship
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
21 2 9 3
15% win rate
3rd 278
2018 F1 World Championship
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
21 0 11 2
10% win rate
4th 249
2017 F1 World Championship
Red Bull Racing
20 0 4 2
10% win rate
6th 168
2016 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Red Bull Racing
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