Photographer confesses to giving only Max Verstappen critical racing insights through images to achieve optimum speed

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is tearing down F1 record left, right and centre owing to not only his prowess behind the steering wheel, but also the car given to him by Red Bull. While Verstappen gets plenty of feedback from his Red Bull engineers, a racing photographer has claimed that it his his camera work that has enabled Verstappen to scale even greater heights.

Max Verstappen. Credit: planetf1.com
Max Verstappen. Credit: planetf1.com

Frits van Eldik has been friends with Max for a long time, having originally captured his father Jos Verstappen back in his racing days. Speaking on The DRS Race Show podcast, Van Eldik explained how his pictures have given Max the sort of feedback no other engineer could offer, thereby allowing him to go even quicker.

“I think the most important thing is that you are taken seriously in the world, also in terms of information provision. If I see something that I think matters, I will always pass it on to a driver, at least if I like them,” Van Eldik said

“You only have to sell nonsense once and then no one will take you seriously anymore.”

Van Eldik discussed how he helped Max go around a corner faster in his days as junior racer.

“You have to make sure you always come up with the right things and say: pay attention to this or pay attention to that,” Van Eldik said.

“I even had it with Max early in his career where I said: ‘I see off the track that your teammate is doing this, and you are doing that. I don’t know what the difference is.’

“Then a day later he was super fast, and then he walked by with a picture, because I had pictures of that corner, and then he said: ‘See? Is it okay now?’ That’s just funny, but I just want to be taken seriously as a photographer, but also as a person and as an expert on the game.”

Van Eldik’s association with the Verstappen family has stood through thick and thin. The photographer even captured Max Verstappen the day he was born and is well and truly a family friend.

The 55-year-old owes his love and passion towards racing to his father, who owned a garage. How did he enter the world of photography? That was also an interest that seeped through from his father.

Van Eldik says he “was impressed by the pictures that showed up on a piece of paper when you dropped it in some kind of liquid in the darkroom”.

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