Former Red Bull Driver Explains Why F1 Should Embrace Max Verstappen

Published 12/30/2021, 5:12 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Young Driver Test – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 14, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Red Bull driver Max Verstappen produced one of the best F1 seasons we have seen in recent times. The Dutchman clinched 10 Grand Prix wins, recorded 18 podium finishes, and lead over 50 percent of total laps this season. For his achievements, former Red Bull driver Mark Webber holds the newly crowned world champ in high regard.

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Webber himself has raced alongside some of the biggest names in the sport, including Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton. The Aussie was also a title contender in the 2010 F1 season. However, he saw the title slip away to teammate Vettel in a dramatic last race of the season.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Third placed Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing, first placed Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Scuderia Toro Rosso and second placed Heikki Kovalainen of Finland and McLaren Mercedes celebrate in parc ferme following qualifying for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Former F1 star shares thoughts on Max Verstappen

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The Australian driver was a part of the Red Bull line-up for 7 seasons from 2007 to 2013. Webber marked his debut in the 2002 Australian GP for the Minardi F1 team; he recorded his first and last victory with Red Bull in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

In a recent interview, Webber gave his opinion on reigning champion Max Verstappen. “Max Verstappen had been watching Formula 1 for a long time and he saw Lewis Hamilton dominate the sport. I could imagine him thinking, ‘I want that too.'”  

“I see Verstappen as a person who is not impressed by other people and their successes. Rather, I see him as a man who sees a piece of land and wants to define his own borders. Like, ‘This is my territory now, and I’m going to show you that.'” said the Aussie.

“I could hardly see any signs of wear and tear in Max. He didn’t let the setback of the puncture in Baku wear him down, nor when he was pushed off the track by Hamilton at Silverstone,” added Webber.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship on the podium REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The sport can be happy to have a figure like Max: Webber

Mark Webber appreciates the calculated aggression which Verstappen brings to the table. Moreover, he believes Red Bull took a slight risk with him early on in his career but that is what the Milton Keynes team is known for.

“From the very beginning, Max has shown a maturity that mocks his age. Since then, his enormous self-confidence has only increased, in addition to a driving feeling like no other pilot has. The modern Formula 1 cars are not easy to drive,” said Webber.

“Verstappen brought experience from karting and Formula 1, that’s all he had, but he didn’t need more to convince Red Bull. Red Bull has taken a certain risk with him, but that fits perfectly with the brand.” 

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Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 3, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

He believes that a talent like Verstappen comes in F1 only once in ten years and the sport should be happy to have his presence.

“Drivers like Max Verstappen come to Formula 1 every ten years. The Dutchman is outstanding all around, and the sport can be happy to have such a light figure.”

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Max Verstappen will soon return behind the wheel for the winter testing of next season’s F1 car. Fans are excited to witness another round of the intense rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull in 2022.

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Rituraj Tripathi

234 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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