“Still Potty Training!” – Hamilton, Verstappen & Sainz Banter Over Schumacher’s Spa F1 Heroics

Published 09/27/2021, 5:38 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing first and second respectively in the sprint race qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


The recent Russian Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races that we have had so far this season. One of the talking points of the race was how Max Verstappen drove from being last on the grid to finishing second.

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Interestingly, Michael Schumacher did the exact same in Spa, where he gained positions after starting from the back of the grid. Even though Verstappen doesn’t remember the race, he still thinks that the seven-time world champion had amazing races during his time in Formula One.

Max Verstappen replicates Schumacher’s feat in Sochi

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It is no doubt the way the Red Bull prodigy drove to P2 impressed fans. His drive reminded many of Michael’s race back in 2011 in Belgium, though Max doesn’t recall that particular race.

Speaking after the race, and being asked by Bild, Verstappen replied, “Oh, 2011? I’m not sure if I’ve seen that race! Probably Lewis knows a bit more about that. Carlos and I, we were still …2011?

Hamilton intervened and said, “Still potty training!” Max repeated, “I have no clue.” Carlos Sainz jumped in as well, “Where was this? Still in diapers?”

The Mercedes driver said, “So odd,” Max said, “Close! I don’t know. Was it raining? I don’t know how it went.” Hamilton was curious and asked, “What year?”

The Dutch driver replied, “2011. I think we all know Michael had some great races, some really memorable races anyway.”

Lewis said, “I think that was a bad race for me, so I don’t remember.” Verstappen added, “So I don’t know. I didn’t think like about stuff like that. At the end of the day, you have to always just go out from your own perspective.”

“And every year, every track, the conditions are completely different. But for me, of course, what was very important for me was just staying out of trouble. And just tried to work your way forwards but safely. And I think that’s what we did today,” he concluded.

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How did the Russian GP affect Verstappen’s title hopes?

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The race in Sochi was a challenging one for Max, as he was starting from the back of the grid. He knew he had to gain some positions and get back in the points.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the podium with champagne after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

The Dutch driver was true to his word and earned himself a second-place finish. Though he lost the lead to arch-rival Hamilton in the title race, he is optimistic about bridging the two-point gap that currently exists between them.

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The next opportunity awaits in the form of the Turkish Grand Prix. The 23-year-old is hoping to beat Lewis in the next round and reclaim the top spot in the championship.

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Arpit Gomes

941 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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