How Max Verstappen’s 2021 Title Victory Resembles His First Championship Battle in Karting

Published 01/11/2022, 9:52 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Qatar Grand Prix – Losail International Circuit, Lusail, Qatar – November 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


Karting is a crucial aspect in how it shapes a driver’s Formula One career. Before Max Verstappen was fighting for the championship against Lewis Hamilton in 2021, he was fighting for a karting championship back in 2012.

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It was quite shocking to see the similarities between his F1 title fight and his karting championship battle; both of them had incredibly controversial endings. In 2021, Hamilton and Verstappen collided with each other on numerous occasions, but what is surprising, or rather unsurprising to see is that Max had a crash with his rival during his karting days in a championship-deciding race.

The astonishing similarities between Verstappen’s F1 and karting title deciders

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In a documentary, the Red Bull driver and his father look back at the 2012 karting championship. It was a title-deciding race, but things didn’t go their way, and Jos Verstappen reveals how frustrated he was after Max lost the title.

Jos said, “That was in Sarno, Max’s first race in a geared kart and that was the world championship,” Max said, “It certainly did not go as planned there.”

Jos added, “He wins the pre-final with a 2.5-second lead, He was so incredibly fast, so he should have won that easily. In the final, he is overtaken by number two in the first round.”

Verstappen added, “I immediately wanted to catch up with him, but that did not work out well in the end. The final had 26 rounds, so I could have waited easily.”

“I had done so much for that race. Time and energy. And I was so mad. I thought it was such a dumb move. When it happened I ran away. I started to tear down the tent. I threw everything in the bus. I was so downcast. Max was crying,” Jos concluded.

Watch Story: From Shocking Lewis Hamilton Crash to Ferrari Pit Stop Blunder: Most Sensational Moments in Bahrain GP History

How did the F1 title fight pan out between Hamilton and Verstappen

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For the final race of the season, the Dutch driver started on pole position. However, as soon as the lights went out, Hamilton took the lead. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was keen about not letting the Mercedes driver overtake him so that Verstappen could catch up.

After passing Perez, it appeared that Hamilton’s victory was only a matter of time. However, when Nicholas Latifi crashed, a safety car was deployed. Following a contentious ruling by the FIA, Hamilton and Verstappen were neck and neck. And in a blink of an eye, the Dutch driver took the lead from the Brit.

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 with the Netherlands flag on the podium as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton looks on after finishing second REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The 7-time world champion attempted but failed to pass Verstappen, giving Max the lead all the way to the finish line. The Formula One world is thrilled for what the 2022 season has in store after such an enthralling season finale. What are your forecasts for the upcoming year? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below.

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DIVE DEEPER

Max Verstappen’s Father Shares His Woes Racing Against ‘Strong Teammate’ Michael Schumacher

17 days ago

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Arpit Gomes

1283 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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