Is Max Verstappen good for Formula One?




In Formula One there are records & stats and then there is the actual race. Records show that a 17-year old rookie, Max Verstappen racing for Toro Rosso did not finish (DNF) the Monaco Grand Prix due to an accident for which he has now received a penalty of five grid places in the next race in Canada. But then what happened in the actual race is a different story.

Is Max Verstappen good for Formula One?

Is Max Verstappen good for Formula One?

He was like a breath of fresh air, who brought back excitement and fun into the Formula One race for the period of time he was racing around the streets of Monaco. He was perhaps was the only driver on the track who remotely looked like racing and competing to improve his track position. Overtaking in Monaco is never easy with the track being so narrow and the track being full of bends. His driving was aggressive and he overtook his competitors with sheer driving mixed with some cunning moves at the end.

Ultimately his aggressive style of driving ended with a dramatic head on collision into the wall after Max crashed into the back of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Verstappen argued however that Romain Grosjean braked too early on Turn one which caused him to crash into his back, which went unheard. While the other drivers were not happy with the way the teenager was driving, he seemed to have got the crowd’s approval for his racing style at Monaco.

Felipe Massa said, “I would say what for me was pretty dangerous was the accident with Verstappen. He is lucky he was not hurt”. Felipe Massa also has questioned the value of his super license and questions his presence in the big league. Massa said, “It was very dangerous for him because he is 17. If he is hurt, everyone would talk about it asking why do they give a license to a 17-year old and he’s doing that?”

Despite fewdrivers in the paddock not happy with the teenager’s approach to Formula One, the drive by Max managed to engage the audience and kept them on the edge of their seats. Many regarded his drive at Monaco to be more exciting than the whole of the 2014 season. Max added excitement and purpose to the whole race. Had Max not crashed out of the race which resulted in Lewis being robbed of a perfect weekend by his own team, perhaps the only talking or exciting point of the whole race would have been Max Verstappen.

It is also a thought many are having, if the drivers have become too comfortable in their cars and restricted in their outlook. Max is a teenage rookie and his team, Toro Rosso is not one of the top contenders of the season but his race kept the spectators engaged. Bernie Ecclestone is perhaps looking at more people like Max who can add spice to the Sunday races.

Bernie Ecclestone earlier had made a statement regarding Nico Rosberg as being “not good for business”. Bernie is slightly biased towards the aggression and the daring attitude of his team mate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg has said, “None of that surprises me because he (Bernie) has been very open about that all the time criticising anybody who is not as out there in the world like Lewis is and his manner”.

In some ways Max Verstappen is being compared to Lewis Hamilton who was considered a reckless driver in his younger days. Lewis’s attitude of driving like an ‘immature brat’; who on numerous races would lead to crashes due to his aggressive driving style, has now improved over the years.Looking at this love of Bernie for showmen and daring drivers, Max Verstappen is being assumed to rise amongst the ranks to become Bernie’s favourite soon. Max, being a teenager and a rookie, in fact has already impressed a lot of veterans in Formula One arena with his qualifying and race results.

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Anjan K Merkap

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