In this article, we will discuss the remarkable journey of Max Verstappen, who rode an F1 car before even obtaining his driver’s license. Verstappen, a two-time world champion, is considered one of the most successful drivers from the Netherlands in F1 history.
Verstappen, renowned for his bold approach to racing, has revealed a calmer and more lighthearted demeanor in interviews. The origins of his aggressive nature can be attributed to his karting background, which greatly contributed to his swift rise in the world of Formula 1.
At just 25 years old, Verstappen is set to surpass legendary drivers like Fernando Alonso and join the ranks of Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, and Nelson Piquet. His talent was evident from an early age when he showcased his skills in the European Karting circuit. By the age of 16, he had already made it to F3.
In his debut F3 season, Verstappen won six consecutive races and a total of ten wins, finishing third in the Drivers’ Championship. His outstanding performance caught the attention of Franz Tost, then-Team Principal of Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team. Tost praised Verstappen’s driving skills and decided to fast-track his climb to F1.
The FIA introduced a new rule as a result of this decision. Verstappen, who joined F1 at the age of 17, became the sport’s youngest driver ever. In order to comply with standard driving license regulations, the FIA implemented a rule that prohibited racers under the age of 18 from participating in F1. Nevertheless, this rule did not impact Verstappen since he turned 18 prior to its implementation.
Verstappen’s early entrance into F1 also brought about other regulatory changes. His aggressive driving style led to the implementation of a rule against unusual movements under braking. This rule aimed to ensure fair and safe racing.
Despite his precocious journey, Verstappen proved his talent in his debut season and received multiple awards from the FIA. However, his aggressive maneuvers on the racetrack were deemed dangerous, leading to complaints from other drivers. As a result, the FIA introduced a rule that reported any driver who moved unusually under braking to the stewards.
Verstappen has transformed from a talented young karting prodigy to a two-time world champion throughout the years. Based on his present performance, it appears likely that he will achieve his third World Championship. Verstappen’s accomplishments have compelled the FIA to implement rule modifications even prior to his entry into Formula 1, underscoring his significant influence on the sport.
Max Verstappen’s F1 career has been exceptionally remarkable, and his skills and bold approach to driving have made a lasting impression on the sport.