Max Verstappen Downplays Key Handicap in F1 Title Battle With Hamilton

Published 04/12/2021, 8:26 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Second placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Max Verstappen is embroiled in a dogged title fight with Lewis Hamilton for the 2021 F1 Title. Even though only one of the twenty-three rounds has been contested yet, everyone feels that it will go down to the wire between these two. However, Verstappen may slightly be on the backfoot because of his previous experiences, or lack thereof.

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The Dutchman entered the F1 scene in 2015, merely at 17 years of age. Before that, he had just a single season in single-seater racing. It was in 2014, where he finished third in the European Formula 3 Championship as Esteban Ocon took home the title.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates second place on the podium with the trophy Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Hence, his spontaneous promotion to the pinnacle of motorsports meant he could not become a champion even once in the junior categories. So, he does not have that experience at the top level yet even though he won numerous accolades in Karting.

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But it does not bother him, “It’s very different [being in a title fight]. Of course, in that scenario, you don’t need to win every single battle or race. But that’s a natural thing.”

“It doesn’t mean that because I didn’t win a title, for example, that I don’t understand that. Because I won many titles in go-karting and it’s basically the same – you choose your battles. Also, I only had one attempt of winning a title in F3, and of course, yeah, it didn’t happen,” said Verstappen.

You need ‘luck’ to win the F1 world championship: Max Verstappen

Although F1 is an individual sport like tennis, you need more than just sheer talent to be successful. For there are notable differences in the machinery that every F1 driver has. And Max is not oblivious to it despite his raw speed.

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“You just need the luck – that you’re in the right team, at the right place and are dominant for a long time. And that not always happens. You have to accept that; ‘I hope that I will be in a position to fight for a championship or whatever, in the near future.'”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen passes the chequered flag to win the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

While the Red Bull driver has not had the ultimate glory yet, we can put our money on him winning the F1 World Championship in the near future. If that future so happens to be the end of the year, all the merrier for him.

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Bharat Aggarwal

670 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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