Max Verstappen has not failed to disappoint us this season. Individually, the young sensation has racked up an amazing and respectable tally of 49 points heading into the final round at Abu Dhabi. This is nearly 3 times the point tally of his team mate, Carlos Sainz Jr. Single-handedly, Max has more points than the total constructor points Toro Rosso have ever achieved in their history.
He has had a strong second half to the season, with six consecutive finishes in the points, starting from Singapore and is still on with his 9th place finish in Brazil. And since Round 10 at Hungary Britain, he has finished all the races and with the exception of the Italian Grand Prix, all in the points. These include his best finishes of 4th, at Hungary and Austin.
His early season performances showed the youngster had the pace and talent, although it required massive fine tuning. He was able to qualify in the top 10, or somewhere around 12-13 on the grid. With his recent form however, he has been consistently qualifying and finishing in the top 10. The exception was Japan, among his last six races, where he started 17th, but was still able to fight up the field, to get a 9th place finish.
Once again at Brazil, he showcased his talent to the world, fighting up into the points, for a 10th place finish (before advancing to 9th as Massa was disqualified). As he has finished all the races, he’s not only improved as a driver, but the frequent reliability issues that plagued Renault also seem to be behind them.
Max Verstappen has also shown he has the ability to manage his tyres well. At the Austin Grand Prix, he managed to last for nearly 17 laps of the race with softer compound tyres , and despite the wear on them, he was able to comfortably finish 4th.
These skills, with further refining going ahead, are going to benefit him in the future. He still has a few years to hone his skills and it would be surprising to not see him in a top team’s car within a few years.
A challenge, to Max if he can: Secure at least 6 points during the final race of the season, to finish the 2015 season with 55 points or more.