Nepotism Debate Takes Over F1 as Max Verstappen & Mick Schumacher Get Caught in the Crossfire: “Your Last Name Will Get You…”

Published 02/06/2023, 8:30 AM EST

Follow Us

via Reuters

Nepotism is more often than not a discussion in sports, music, or the movie industry, among others, and is often blamed for fostering subpar talent in the respective fields. Although for a long time, it wasn’t a major issue in the world of Formula 1, there have been a few sparks here and there over the decades since there have been nearly 20 pairings of father and son. Even if nepotism has allowed the sons to gain a quicker entry into the world of Formula 1, thanks to the goodwill generated by their racing fathers, many of whom were champions as well, it hasn’t helped a lot of them once they have started racing. Formula 1 is an absolutely unapologetic sport that forgives anyone but the one who performs.

America’s Favorite Video Today

There have been two such drivers in the modern era: Max Verstappen and Mick Schumacher, both of whose parents, Jos Verstappen and Michael Schumacher, raced in the same period. And now, the two have come under fire for being carried into the sport on the basis of their connections and names. At the talk show Jinek, Former Red Bull driver, Robert Doornbas, as quoted by F1Maximaal, called the two out for nepotism, saying, “Your last name will get you somewhere faster, but in the end you will be behind with one-zero.” [Translated using Google]

via Getty

“Max has of course been given the racing DNA from home. His career has become much bigger than his father’s, but it would not have worked this way without Jos,” he added, arguably dismissing Max’s merits and achievements and transferring credit to his father for getting the current champion into the sport.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

For a driver with a well-known surname, nepotism must have played a significant role. But F1 and fans ensure that only the deserving one stays on the grid, such has been the case between Max Verstappen and Mick himself. However, the latter has a long way to go and is believed to be just getting started.

Famous father and sons in Formula 1

Max Verstappen isn’t the only son of a former driver to have won a championship. So it was with Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve, with the latter winning the 1997 championship.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In fact, there have been two instances where both the father and son have won the drivers’ championship. In recent years, there has been Nico Rosberg, whose father Keke Rosberg also won the championship with Williams in 1982. There’s also the pairing of Graham and Damon Hill, with the father winning in 1962 and 1968 and the son in 1996, which falls under this special category.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest F1 stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Like Lewis Hamilton, Daunting NASCAR Option Once Had Daniel Ricciardo Simply Saying No

What do you think—does nepotism spoil the sport since it might result in deserving drivers missing out on the chance? Or is it fair for the sons to benefit from the family name? Let us know in the comments.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Manan Goel

450Articles

One take at a time

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.
Show More>

Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today