“Uncle” Michael Schumacher’s Influential History With F1 Lion Max Verstappen

Published 01/24/2023, 6:30 PM EST

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Max Verstappen is a generational talent. This was pretty clear from the moment he was strapped into a Formula 1 car in 2015. Even though his father Jos Verstappen has had a critical role to play in molding a young Verstappen into the blooming 2x Champion that he is today, young Max had more than one role model to look up to. In 1994, Verstappen’s father, Jos made his Formula 1 debut with Benetton. The young Dutchman had impressed a swarm of F1 teams in a 1993 test, but Benetton lapped him up.

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Strapped into the Benetton B194, alongside the Dutchman, for the 1994 season was the to-be 1x Champion, Michael Schumacher. Setting the tone early on in the season, and after the unfortunate death of Ayrton Senna, Schumacher only had Williams’ Damon Hill to contend with as a rival. However, after a controversial Australian Grand Prix at the Adelaide Street Circuit, Schumacher was crowned champion. That year was pretty eventful for Schumacher, but for Verstappen, who wasn’t even born yet, 1994 was going to have a massive impact on him, too!

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During the 1994 season, both Jos Verstappen and Michael Schumacher became good friends. So much so that they would even go on holiday together with their respective families. This is where a young Max Verstappen got to spend some quality time with the eventual 7x Champion. “It was great. I still have positive memories of those weekends today,” said Max in an interview with Insider.com.

Verstappen, though, still wasn’t able to completely comprehend the greatness of the man yet. In an emotionally tender retelling of the time he spent with the 7x Champion, he still remembers him as the kind uncle he had the joy of spending time with. “I was three or four years old at the time. I just knew him as Uncle Michael. He was very nice. He very much was a family man.” 

“But I never saw him as the record world champion, I wasn’t aware of that. You can see that in the old photos and videos that we have at home.”

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Schumacher had an affinity for Ayrton Senna. Max clearly had one for Schumacher. Currently, he’s been compared to both in terms of approach, mindset, and speed.

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One of the most defining features of Verstappen’s driving style is his phenomenal car control. And it all comes down to the rigorous karting program Verstappen had to follow courtesy of his father. That being said, he may have learned a trick or two, firsthand, from the greatest man to ever enter the sport.

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via Getty

While talking about his relationship with Michael, Verstappen revealed an interesting detail. As it turns out, the Verstappen and Schumacher clan coordinated karting track days together. “Michael with Mick or Gina, my father with me,”

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“In Feuerbach-Hahn, for example. I think the track no longer exists. Then in Ampfing and of course a lot in Kerpen, the home of Michael Schumacher.”

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Watch This Story: Max Verstappen Has Spent 25% of His Fortune on This Beauty – Have a Look!

In a straight shoot-out between the trio of Verstappen, Schumacher, and Senna, who’s coming out on top according to you?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. In his pursuit for a Bachelor's degree in Law from Symbiosis Law School, he has written multiple academic papers centered around the domain of motorsports. Not only that, but due to his love for F1, he aims to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world some day.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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