Max Emilian Verstappen is a Formula One racing driver competing for Red Bull Racing under the Dutch flag. He won the Formula One world title in both 2021 and 2022. When he was 17, he became the youngest driver to join Formula One.
Verstappen was born in Hasselt, Belgium to a former Formula One driver father and a mother who also had competed in karting. He has a younger sister and a cousin who is a two-time NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion. Furthermore, Verstappen drives under the Dutch flag despite being born in Belgium and having a Belgian mother. He started competing under Formula One half a season before turning 18 and earning his road driving license.
Like a majority of Formula One drivers, Verstappen also started his racing career as a karting driver. In 2013, he earned the World KZ championship title. It was also during this year when he competed in the Pembrey Circuit and experienced for the first time driving a race car. He continued as a test driver during the rest of the season and was noticed to be driving faster than regular Formula Renault drivers like Matt Parry and Steijin Schothorst. Due to this, he was finally given a chance to make his racing debut during the Florida Winter Series on January 16, 2014. During the second week of the said series, he won his first race. He also finished third and won 10 races during the 2014 FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
After testing a Formula Renault 3.5 car in August 2014, Verstappen joined the Red Bull Junior Team and took part in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix free practice. By 2015, he earned a full-time sport with Scuderia Toro Rosso and became the youngest driver to join a World Championship race at the age of 17 as well as the youngest to earn world championship points. He finished the 2015 season on the 12th spot.
Furthermore, Verstappen continued to improve throughout the years under Formula One. He placed 4th in 2018 and then 3rd in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, he became F1 world champion for the first time while driving for Red Bull Racing Honda, dramatically edging Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the final Grand Prix to claim the world title.
In 2022, Verstappen had a dominant F1 season, winning a record 15 races to claim the title by 146 points from his nearest rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Verstappen had a stretch where he won five straight GPs.
In 2023, Verstappen triumphed again with Red Bull, winning 19 of 22 races in another record, claiming 575 points to win the F1 title by 290 points from teammate Sergio Perez.
Formula One Career Highlights
- 3 world titles (2021, 2022, 2023)
- 54 wins
- 98 podiums
- 32 pole positions
- 2586.5 career points
- 30 fastest laps