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Start United States GP
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33

Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing
Nationality nld Dutch
Birthplace Hasselt, Belgium
Date of birth 30/09/1997 (24 yr.)
F1 debute 2015, Australia

F1 season 2021

WC Position 1
Races 16
WC points 262.5
Victories 7
Podiums 12
Pole positions 7

F1 career

World titles 0
WC points 932.5
Races 135
Victories 17
Podium places 54
Pole positions 10

A generational talent, Max Verstappen enters the 2021 season after finishing third in the drivers’ standings. Having already broken a series of records in the sport, the World Championship remains elusive to the Dutchman given the dominance of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

Personal information

Name Max Emilian Verstappen
Team Red Bull
Date of Birth September 30, 1997
Place of Birth Hasselt, Belgium
Age 23
Height 1.81m (5' 9")
Weight 72kg
Nationality Dutch
Race Number 33

Biography of F1 driver Max Verstappen

Despite his young age, Max Verstappen has become a fire fixture on the F1 grid since making his debut for Toro Rosso back in 2015.

Son of former Dutch F1 driver Jos Verstappen, young Max was seemingly destined for great things since making the jump to single-seater career back in 2013.

But how has the youngster made his way through the ranks so quickly, becoming the focal point of Red Bull's attempts to once again capture F1 glory? Here is everything you need to know about the life of Max Verstappen.

Verstappen's early career

The son of Jos Verstappen, the first Dutch driver to finish on an F1 podium, and kart racer Sophie-Marie Kumpen, young Max began his karting career at the age of 4, competing in the Mini Junior championship in his home province of Limburg, Belgium.

From there Max made his way through the ranks, competing on the international karting scene in 2010. He finished second in the KF3 World Cup behind Alexander Albon, the British-Thai driver that would eventually become his teammate at Red Bull.

Verstappen's impressive karting career helped propel him to bigger and better things, making the switch to single-seaters in 2013. His first experience in a racing car came with Dutch team Manor MP Motorsport at the Pembrey Circuit in Wales. A year later Max made his racing debut at the Florida Winter Series, winning his first formula race at just his second race weekend at the Palm Beach International Raceway.

After competing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for Van Amersfoort Racing and finishing his maiden season third, Red Bull came calling.

Red Bull Junior Team and youngest full-time driver

Verstappen joined the Red Bull Junior Team after testing a Formula Renault 3.5 car in August 2014, turning down an offer from Mercedes in the process.

It didn't take long for the Dutchman to get behind the wheel of an F1 car as he took part in the first free practice at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, becoming the youngster driver to take part in a Grand Prix weekend. He then became the youngster driver to start a World Championship race, breaking Jaime Alguersuari's existing record by almost two years by making his debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years and 166 days.

While Verstappen was forced to retire from a points-scoring position due to an engine failure, he scored his first points at the following race in Malaysia with a seventh place finish. That made him the youngster driver to score World Championship points at the age of 17 years and 180 days.

A crash with Romain Grosjean at the Monaco GP saw the Dutchman handed a five-place grid penalty, while also being branded as "dangerous" by Williams driver Felipe Massa. Nevertheless Max didn't let that get to him, achieving his highest finish - fourth - at the United States Grand Prix. At the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony the Dutchman received three awards for Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year for his pass on Felipe Nasr around the outside of Blanchimont corner at the Belgian Grand Prix.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Called up to Red Bull

Partnered by Carlos Sainz for his second season with Toro Rosso, Verstappen completed four races for the team before Red Bull came calling. Not satisfied with the performance of Daniil Kvyat, the Milton Keynes outfit promoted Max while sending the Russian to Toro Rosso to fill his vacant seat for the Spanish Grand Prix.

What followed was something out of a Hollywood script, as Verstappen qualified fourth in his first race for Red Bull. Once the race got underway, the Dutchman found quickly found himself in second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo after Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out of the race.

Thanks to a two-stop strategy compared to the three of Ricciardo, Verstappen went on to claim his first F1 victory, becoming the youngest driver to win an F1 Grand Prix at the age of 18 years and 228 days.

Verstappen continued to impress, finishing on the podium another six times that season, including a sparkling drive at the Brazilian Grand Prix. In a race affected by rain, the Dutchman found himself down in 16th place with just 15 laps remaining, but ended the race in third place, prompting team principal Christian Horner to call it "one of the best drives I've seen in Formula 1".

Despite spending the first four races with Toro Rosso, Verstappen ended the season fifth in the Drivers' Championship - just eight points back of four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

			© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool
	© Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Second season syndrome

Things didn't go as smoothly in 2017 as Verstappen suffered seven retirements from the first 14 races. While four were due to mechanical issues, the other three came after first-lap collisions.

Verstappen's fortunes improved from there, taking his career second victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix after overtaking Lewis Hamilton early the race.

A third victory came at the Mexican Grand Prix after getting past Vettel in the early stages, with Verstappen ending the season in sixth position in the Drivers' standings.

Fast, but prone to crashes

The start of the 2018 F1 season that Verstappen involved in incidents at each of the opening six races that included run ins with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Perhaps the most eye-catching one came in Azerbaijan as the Dutchman was battling it out with teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The two swapped positions several times over the course of the race before the Australian ran into the back of Verstappen's car after some aggressive defending by the Dutchman. Both drivers retired and were reprimanded by the stewards, with Verstappen bouncing back to claim a his first podium of the season in Spain, though he managed to run into the back of Lance Stroll's car during the virtual safety car which caused minor front wing damage.

Monaco saw Max crash at the end of FP3 in an incident that was similar to the one he had two years earlier in Monte Carlo. Red Bull were unable to fix his car in time for qualifying, forcing him to start from the back of the grid. While his ninth place finish was impressive, teammate Ricciardo won from pole prompting both Horner and Helmut Marko to publicly reprimand the Dutchman for his mistakes.

After podium finishes in Canada and France, Verstappen took victory at Red Bull's home track in Austria. After some disappointing results in Britain, Germany and Hungary, the second half of the season went much better for the Dutchman as he finished on the podium seven times from the final nine races.

He missed out on becoming the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history in Mexico, with Ricciardo beating him to it by just 0.026 seconds. However Verstappen got the last laugh in the race, taking victory. A second consecutive victory looked to be in the cards in Brazil, however a collision with Force India's Esteban Ocon, who was trying to unlap himself on faster tyres, ended those dreams. Verstappen finished second behind Hamilton and got into an argument with the Frenchman after the race, pushing him and earning a penalty of two days of public service from the FIA.

Verstappen ended the season fourth in the championship with two wins, 11 podiums and 249 points.

Verstappen leads Honda revival

Verstappen would be powered by works Honda power units for the 2019 season after Red Bull made the switch from Renault, while Pierre Gasly became his new teammate following Ricciardo's departure for the Renault team.

A third place finish in the season-opening Australian GP meant a first podium finish for a Honda-powered driver since the 2008 Bahrain GP. A second podium came in Spain, though Verstappen couldn't add a third in Monaco. Although the Dutchman finished second on track, a five-second penalty for being released into the path of Valtteri Bottas into the pits saw him demoted to fourth.

Victory finally came at the ninth race of the season in Austria. Verstappen started poorly from second, dropping all the way down to eighth. A controversial late pass on Charles Leclerc with three laps to go secured him victory, a first for Honda since the 2006 Hungarian GP.

Verstappen took a second victory of the season at the wet and chaotic German Grand Prix. Despite another slow start, the Dutchman took the lead midway through the are when race leader Hamilton went off track. The track began to dry from there, with Verstappen taking victory ahead of Vettel and Kvyat. Max followed that up with his first career pole the following race in Hungary, though he couldn't fend off a late charge by Hamilton and had to settle for second.

Red Bull made a driver change prior to the Belgian GP, replacing Gasly, who was demoted back to Toro Rosso, with Alexander Albon. Verstappen qualified first in Mexico only to be handed a grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags after a Bottas crash.

Verstappen took the chequered flag in Brazil in a chaotic race that saw him pass Hamilton for the lead on two occasions, before ending the campaign with a second place finish in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen finished the season third in the championship with 278 points, his highest finish.

			© Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images
	© Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Committed to Red Bull for the long-term

After signing a contract that would keep him at Red Bull until the end of 2023, Verstappen would pick up three consecutive podium finishes after retiring from the season-opener in Austria.

His first win of the season in Round 4 of the championship at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone despite starting from fourth, which was followed up by a second and third place finish in Spain and Belgium.

Retirements in Italy and Tuscany came soon after, but Verstappen managed to finish on the podium at five of the final nine races, including victory at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

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