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The Youngest Driver In Formula 1 Divides Opinion
17-year-old Formula 1 racing driver Max Verstappen has caused quite a stir since arriving on the F1 scene in March this year. The son of former Dutch F1 driver, Jos Verstappen, Max is the youngest driver in Formula 1. Ironically, he had failed his driving test when he joined the sport, so he was allowed to run at 200 mph around the race track. you are allowed to drive on public roads. He passed his test and due to regulatory changes, his record as the youngest driver to race in Formula 1 will stand, as the minimum age for a super license (the type that requires permission to race on track) has increased to 18 years.
Despite the support of his famous father, Max found his place in F1 through talent. He quickly rose through the ranks of Red Bull’s junior driver program and beat other talented youngsters to secure Red Bull’s F1 sister team, Torro Rosso. It was widely expected that despite his talent Max would not be able to cope with the pressure of this sport, which is notoriously ruthless when drivers do not perform well. Most of Max’s predecessors at the Torro Rosso team were axed due to poor performance, sometimes mid-season. Another former Torro Rosso driver went on to achieve greatness in the sport. Sebastian Vettel joined Red Bull after being promoted from Torro Rosso and went on to win 4 consecutive world championships from 2010-2013.
Verstappen however, has risen to the occasion and has consistently exceeded expectations so far this season. He was praised for his gutsy overtakes and sheer speed and maturity. On the occasions when things went wrong, it was due to mechanical failure beyond his control. The manager of Red Bull, Dr. Helmut Marko, recently told the current drivers of Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kyvaat to pull their socks off because their colleagues in the sister team, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, have won so much.
The Dutchman’s fortunes changed last week as Formula 1 heads to Monaco for what is considered the crown jewel of the F1 season. Verstappen silenced his critics during Thursday’s ‘free practice’ sessions before the race by running the street circuit in 3rd fastest time. Other drivers and racing pundits alike have praised the Max for its speed around a circuit that is very difficult to control with its narrow track and tight corners that leave no room for error. But his inexperience was revealed on race day when he tried to pass Romain Grosjean’s Lotus at the Sainte Devote corner and eventually caused a huge crash.
After he put his car in the prime position to find the Frenchman. Verstappen was caught when Grosjean braked earlier than expected before a corner and crashed into the rear wheel of the Lotus. Verstappen’s left suspension broke on impact and his car crashed into the barrier at over 100 mph. The Lotus was able to continue with no apparent damage and fortunately, Verstappen escaped unhurt in the cockpit. Those watching the race live on television have the best angle of the crash as live footage at the time came from a camera next to the driver’s helmet.
After the crash, Verstappen accused Grosjean of braking too early, but after an investigation by race officials dealing with controversies and race incidents, Verstappen was found to have caused the collision and was given a grid penalty for the next race in Canada. June 5-7, and received 2 points on his license. The youngster has been philosophical since then, saying that he is a rookie and will make mistakes, which the team expects from time to time. He also knows that when he steps up to the Red Bull team in the future, mistakes like this will not be tolerated. We look forward to Max’s return to action at the Canadian Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal. For more details, tickets and all the latest Formula 1 news, visit http://cheapf1tickets.com.
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