Max Verstappen is a Belgian-Dutch racing driver who currently competes in Formula One for Red Bull Racing under the Dutch flag.
Max Emilian Verstappen was born on September 30, 1997, in Hasselt, Belgium, as the eldest son of a mother and a younger sister, Victoria.
His father, Jos Verstappen, is a former Formula One driver from the Netherlands, his Belgian mother, Sophie Kumpen, competed in karting, and his first cousin once removed, Anthony Kumpen, competed in endurance racing and is a two-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion. He currently serves as the team manager for PK Carsport in the Euro Series.
Verstappen began karting when he was four years old. He competed in his home province of Limburg’s Mini Junior championship (Belgium). He won the Belgian championship in the Rotax Max Minimax class in 2006. Also won the Dutch Minimax championship in 2007. Verstappen won the Dutch and Belgian Minimax championships, as well as the Belgian Cadet championship, in a CRG kart entered by his father.
Verstappen joined Team Pex Racing, a CRG client team, in 2009. He won the Flemish Minimax championship and the Belgian KF5 championship that year. Verstappen advanced to international karting in 2010.
CRG signed him to race for them in the world and European championship. He finished second in the KF3 World Cup to the more experienced Alexander Albon (who would later become his Formula One teammate at Red Bull Racing), but overcame him in the WSK Euro Series and also won the WSK World Series, defeating Robert Vișoiu.
Max Verstappen won the WSK Euro Series in a Parilla-powered CRG in 2011. Verstappen was chosen for the Intrepid Driver Program in 2012 to race in the KF2 and KZ2 divisions. He defeated CRG driver Felice Tiene to win the WSK Master Series in the KF2 class. Verstappen defeated Dennis Olsen and Antonio Fuoco to win the South Garda Winter Cup in the KF2 class.
Verstappen joined the Red Bull Junior Team in August 2014 after testing a Formula Renault 3.5 vehicle. He also contemplated a Mercedes invitation to join their driver development programme.
Verstappen became the youngest driver to participate in a Grand Prix weekend by taking part in the first free practice at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, as part of his preparation for a full-time position with Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015.
Verstappen broke Jaime Alguersuari’s previous record for the youngest driver to start a World Championship race by joining the sport a year before the new licence restriction, making his Grand Prix debut as a full-time driver at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at the age of 17 years, 166 days.
Red Bull (2016–present)
Red Bull stated on May 5, 2016, following the Russian Grand Prix, that Verstappen would replace Daniil Kvyat from the Spanish Grand Prix forward, with Kvyat returning to Toro Rosso. Max Verstappen advanced to second place behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix after Mercedes colleagues Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fell out.
He secured a contract extension with Red Bull through the end of 2023 in 2020. He also won all of the practise sessions for the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, giving him a career-high fourth pole position.
Verstappen qualified second in Monaco behind Charles Leclerc, but Leclerc experienced a driveshaft failure on the way to the grid and was unable to start the race. Verstappen led the race from the start and cruised to victory.
At the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, he became Formula One’s youngest driver at the age of 17 years, 166 days. He has several other “firsts” in Formula One.
After spending the 2015 season with Scuderia Toro Rosso, he began the 2016 season with the Italian team before being promoted to parent team Red Bull Racing as a replacement for Daniil Kvyat after four races. He won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on his debut for Red Bull Racing at the age of 18, becoming the youngest-ever driver and the first Dutch driver to do it.
Over the next five seasons, he won several additional races, including the first for a Honda-powered driver since 2006. He finished third in both the 2019 and 2020 championships. Verstappen signed a contract extension with Red Bull that will keep him at the team until the end of the 2023 season.
|Youngest driver to start a race||17 years, 166 days||2015 Australian Grand Prix|
|Youngest driver to score points||17 years, 180 days||2015 Malaysian Grand Prix|
|Youngest driver to win a race||18 years, 228 days||2016 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Youngest driver to score a podium finish||18 years, 228 days||2016 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Youngest driver to lead a lap||18 years, 228 days||2016 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Youngest driver to set fastest lap||19 years, 44 days||2016 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Verstappen currently makes $500,000 per year and will want to increase his earnings after re-signing a new contract with Red Bull until the end of 2020. Verstappen’s team was able to raise his contract from $25 million to $35 million, and they even held discussions with Mercedes. Verstappen, however, chose Red Bull and inked a contract right before the US Grand Prix.
While his annual compensation at Red Bull places him among the sport’s top executives, only Lewis Hamilton has a larger fan base. He has an army of admirers known as the Orange Army, who wear Orange T-shirts to practically every European race.
Because of his fame, he is immensely desired by brands, making him one of the most marketable drivers on the grid. Jumbo Supermarkets, Ziggo, Red Bull, G-Star Raw, and CarNext.com are his primary sponsors. It’s unclear how much he’s worth in terms of sponsorships.
|Marital Status||Single (In a relationship with Kelly Piquet)|
|Team||Red Bull Racing|
|Endorsements||Jumbo Supermarkets, Ziggo, G-Star Raw, CarNext.com|
|Annual Salary||$25 million|
|Net worth||$60 million|
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