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Hill explains how Verstappen overcame junior experience void

Max Verstappen has developed "Formula 1 maturity" having raced in the junior categories for only one year, believes Damon Hill.

Former World Champion Damon Hill believes Max Verstappen has now bridged a gap in his racing maturity through extensive experience in Formula 1. The Red Bull driver was fast-tracked into F1 after only a single year of racing in cars, although Verstappen had an impressive karting CV to bolster his claims. Verstappen became the youngest driver to start a race in the championship by almost two years at 17 years old at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso, though the Dutchman faced criticism for mistakes and his antics during the campaign. A step up to Red Bull came in 2016, with Verstappen essentially learning his craft at the front of the field on his quest to becoming the reigning two-time World Champion.

Measured in F1 maturity

Explaining how Verstappen has gained maturity despite his lack of junior experience, 1996 World Champion Hill told the F1 Nation podcast: "I was 35-36 [years old] before I won the World Championship. "I'd learned all my mistakes... a lot of my mistakes had happened out of the public eye, in the junior formulas when I was on my way up. "The number of years in Formula 1... how many years is it that Max has been in, is it seven years or something ridiculous? I mean, my entire career was only seven years long – I don't think I can compare my career to anyone else. "But the point is there's a maturity thing that comes into play, which is to do with literally just growing up and then there's an F1 experience thing, so you can measure people in terms of their F1 maturity. "I think to throw someone in aged 17 and expect them to win a World Championship, if they had a car dominance capable of doing that, then sure it's possible. I mean, Lewis [Hamilton] very nearly won his first season in Formula 1."

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