Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
Quali sat 27 mar
Race sun 28 mar
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
Quali sat 17 apr
Race sun 18 apr
bhr
Fallback flag
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
Quali sat 01 may
Race sun 02 may
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
Quali sat 08 may
Race sun 09 may
Fallback flag
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
Quali sat 22 may
Race sun 23 may
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
Quali sat 05 jun
Race sun 06 jun
mco
can
fri 11 jun - sun 13 jun
Quali sat 12 jun
Race sun 13 jun
aze
fra
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
Quali sat 26 jun
Race sun 27 jun
can
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
Quali sat 03 jul
Race sun 04 jul
fra
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
Quali sat 17 jul
Race sun 18 jul
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
sgp
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
rus
jpn
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
sgp
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
jpn
mex
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
usa
bra
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
mex
aus
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
aus
are
sat 11 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sun 12 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
Start Bahrain GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Max Verstappen

How Verstappen debuted against Latifi, Stroll and a Top Gear journalist

It is common knowledge amongst Formula 1 fans that Max Verstappen only had one season in European Formula 3 before joining Toro Rosso. However, the story of his adventure in the Florida Winter Series is not so well known, where he made his debut alongside competitors ranging from F1’s Lance Stroll to presenter Will Buxton.

Back in early 2014, Max Verstappen had only a few tests under his belt in motorsport. The Dutchman had stepped into a Formula Renault 2.0 and also tested a Formula 3 car, before suddenly finding himself in the United States for a month. Here he was invited by Ferrari to participate in the Florida Winter Series, created to give talented drivers track-time.

The championship featured a mixed field of participants, to say the least. Alongside renowned young talents such as Raffaele Marciello (European F3 champion) and Antonio Fuoco (Formula Renault 2.0 Alpine champion), and experienced drivers such as Nicholas Latifi (2012 debut) and Ed Jones (2011 debut), there was also presenter Will Buxton (now working in Formula 1) and Top Gear journalist Ollie Marriage.

They were not the only names that ring a bell now. Lance Stroll (then a karter) and former Formula 2 driver Tatiana Calderon as well as Dutchman Dennis van de Laar were given the opportunity to show their skills at Ferrari.

The Florida Winter Series took place on the circuits of Sebring, Palm Beach and Homestead, and the cars driven were Formula Abarth cars, the predecessor of Formula 4. 12 races would take place, allowing Verstappen to make his debut. There was no cash prize or super licence points on offer, but in modern motorsport, time on the track is invaluable.

Article continues below the video

He began his adventure in the United States with a blunder. In a moment of carelessness during a test, Verstappen collided head-on with Fuoco - in the pits. However, it only took one weekend for 16-year-old Max Verstappen to get up to speed. He finished fourth in Sebring, crashed out once and ended the weekend in eighth place.

During his second race weekend, in Palm Beach, he was on a roll. He took a podium in the first race with a second place and won the last race of the weekend; his first ever victory in motorsport.

Two more third places and a victory would follow in the next two rounds at Homestead in Miami. Verstappen ended the championship in third place. Ferrari driver Antonio Fuoco took the title and the experienced Nicholas Latifi finished in second place.

Top Gear journalist Ollie Marriage and presenter Will Buxton each competed for a weekend and were unsuccessful. Years later, Buxton praised Verstappen's talent to RTL GP: "It was one of those championships where you had access to all the data afterwards. After each session you studied other people's data and the other guys were already looking at Max's data with big eyes, a kid who had just finished a test with a Formula Renault. It was ridiculous. Fuoco, for example, hated him right from the start."

0 comments

    x