Verstappen ‘getting old’ – unaware of 100 mark with Red Bull!
Max Verstappen says time may have started to impact his memory as he wasn’t aware that this weekend’s Spanish GP will mark his 100th race with Red Bull Racing!
At just 23, the Dutchman is already a seasoned racer, having graduated to F1 in 2015 as the sport’s youngest ever driver at 17 years of age.
After Verstappen’s formative year with Toro Rosso and four races with the Faenza-based squad in 2016, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko took the bold decision to promote the teenager to the energy drink’s senior bull team in place of Daniil Kvyat.
Verstappen therefore duly made his debut with Red Bull at the Spanish GP in 2016. The blistering fast young talent qualified fourth but took his rivals and F1 by storm when he raced to a sensational outright win on race day, helped in part by the opening lap collision between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
“Barcelona will always hold special memories for me,” said Verstappen ahead of his return to the scene of his maiden F1 triumph.
“Your first F1 win is pretty emotional, especially when it is a bit of a shock to everyone as it was my debut for the team.
“I don’t really get emotional that often but I was pretty close to tears that day and so was my Dad.
“Everything flashes through your head of how you got to Formula 1. It wasn’t all easy and people think that when you are winning it looks pretty easy but you have to do the hard work to get there.
“Like all young drivers we spent a lot of time away from home, driving around Europe and working as hard as possible.
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“Of course, I had a big help from my Dad who prepared me very well but there is no guarantee you will make it to Formula 2 but as a family that was always the goal.
“Suddenly, after the win, it all flashes through your head and it was an incredible day.
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“I’ve said it many times, my first win was a shock, nobody expected it, so it will be a day I will never forget. I’m very grateful to everyone who worked with me and got to that point at such a young age.
Since that memorable day, Verstappen has added 98 races and 10 more wins to his impressive track record, but the first number certainly wasn’t on his mind ahead of this weekend’s milestone event.
“Getting to 100 races with Red Bull has gone so quickly to be honest, I didn’t know it had been that many! I must be getting old!”
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