The Whiz - Kid
Maxim Australia|June 2017

With his razor-sharp moves and breathtaking natural speed, Red Bull Racing driver MAX VERSTAPPEN has taken the F1 world by storm. MAXIM caught up with the talented 19-year-old Dutchman to talk about the season, the art of the overtake and why the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix will be a huge challenge…

Stewart Bell

Max Verstappen has redefined the term Ê»young gun’ as the driver of his generation, living up to all the hype that preceded his F1 debut with Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso in 2015 at the age of just 17. His confidence, natural speed and razor-sharp passes make it almost certain he will become world champion one day. Last year, Verstappen came alive — winning on debut for Red Bull Racing in Spain, the brand promoting him in a desperate bid to hold on to him long-term. He took six other podiums in 2016, and made the move of the year on Nico Rosberg in Brazil, going round the outside in the pouring rain. Not to mention he passed 11 cars in the last 16 laps. Verstappen may have been born in Belgium, but he’s most certainly considered Dutch — as the son of Holland’s former F1 driver Jos “The Boss” Verstappen. Jos didn’t hit the heights, but he’s made sure his son hasn’t followed suit — with Max earning not only a slew of youngest-ever records (winner, podium, points, fastest lap), but last year passing more cars (78) in a single season than any F1 driver in history. To say that his teammate (Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo) has a challenge on his hands is the understatement of the century, but it’s no secret our local hero has the talent and speed to take Verstappen head-on — and win. It’s going to be an epic battle, though.

What are your thoughts on the new car? It looks very clean in design.

Yeah, it’s just a philosophy the team worked on. We are always struggling in terms of top speed, so you just try to make a car that is very efficient on the straights.

It’s amazing that this will be your first full season with Red Bull Racing.

To be honest, I never really think about it too much. I just try to do the best I can every race. And also, for me, it’s also very easy — what happened in the past, I put that aside, I just want to focus on what’s ahead.

You were supreme last year. How was the season from your perspective?

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