“We Get On Very Well”: Max Verstappen Opens Up on His Relationship With GF Kelly Piquet’s 4 YO Daughter Penelope

Published 11/09/2023, 8:25 AM EST

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When Max Verstappen entered the Milton Keynes doors, Daniil Kvyat felt quite betrayed by the team. After crashing into Vettel and being dubbed the ‘torpedo’, the Russian was swiftly replaced by Verstappen. However, things would get even more personal when Verstappen started dating Kvyat’s ex-girlfriend, Kelly Piquet, the daughter of another three-time world champion. Verstappen now lives with Kelly Piquet in Monaco, but they are not alone!

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Accompanying them is Kvyat and Piquet’s four-year-old daughter, Penelope. The three of them have had a lot of time to bond, with Penelope appearing in Max Verstappen’s sim-racing streams from time to time, giving fans an insight into the loving personality behind the tough world champion exterior. At such a young age, many would not know how to handle such a situation! But for Max Verstappen, things are crystal clear.

Max Verstappen takes a page out of Anakin Skywalker’s book

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Max Verstappen is no stranger to the importance of a father’s role in any kid’s life. There are mixed opinions about Jos Verstappen’s parenting, but one thing’s for sure – his father was present and groomed him endlessly. While it may have been harsh to stay away from his mother and sister, it made Verstappen understand how important these close relations are.

Being a family man, Max Verstappen has credited his healthy and happy family life with Kelly Piquet and her daughter as a major driving factor for him. While they look like a perfect family, Verstappen does not intend to replace Kvyat. And in true Darth Vader fashion, he dismissed any claims of being Penelope’s father.

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“I’m not the father, that’s not the aim,” he shared in an interview with TIME.“It’s always very important that she has a good relationship with her own father [Kvyat], which she has.” The world champion went on to share that he enjoyed her company a lot, and was happy to share a home and bond with Piquet’s daughter. Verstappen concluded, “But I see her every day when I’m at home. We get on very well. She’s very cute.

While Max Verstappen has grown up to become a brilliant personality, not just on track, as a ‘stepfather‘ to Piquet’s daughter, certain things in life transcend Formula 1. Family is definitely on top of that list for the Dutchman. He seems to have earned a record racing legacy too via his family.

Are Verstappen and Piquet the pairing with the richest legacy in Formula 1?

When little Penelope grows up, she will have a hard time believing no other family has so many racing drivers of the highest order. While there are a few father-son pairings in Formula 1, when we talk about things from Penelope’s point of view, it’s raining racing drivers all around!

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For starters, her father, Daniil Kvyat, is a former F1 driver and a podium sitter. And things are just getting started there, because when we take a look at the Piquet family, there’s not one, but two former F1 drivers! Her grandfather, Nelson Piquet, was the Brazilian fans’ favorite when he won three world championships in the 80s, and following his example, Nelson Piquet Jr, her uncle, became an F1 driver but got entangled in the crash-gate scandal with Alonso and Renault.

However, it doesn’t just end there and as we move on to the Verstappen family, we find that the numbers just keep increasing. We already know of Max Verstappen’s titles and that Jos Verstappen was a podium-getter as well. But not many are aware that his mother, Sophie Kumpen, was a junior karting champion with enough speed to make it to Formula 1. When we combine Verstappen, Piquet, and Kvyat’s legacy, we are left with 6 world championships and 6 extremely fast family members for Penelope.

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WATCH THIS STORY | “Perfect Stepdad” Max Verstappen’s Adorable Moment with Kelly Piquet’s Daughter Penelope

With such a racing influence around, it’s safe to say Formula 1 will always be a part of her life one way or another. As for Max Verstappen, he continues to outshine himself not just on track, but also in his real-life duties toward Kelly Piquet’s daughter.

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. As a child, it was the Top Gear Ayrton Senna tribute that drew him into the world of motorsports. While obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, his passion for motorsport grew.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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