The Max Verstappen weekly by @F1TheaJ
Well, it’s not been a bad week, as weeks go, even if he was ‘Driving like a Granny’ at the Hungarian GP, stuck behind his team mate, Ricciardo in his first stint of the race.
Max thought the Hungarian GP was ‘boring’ as he was stuck in 5th place fending off Raikonnen in the second stint. Having finished on all three steps of the podium in recent races, fifth place seems a bit low down the rankings for him. He was possibly expecting a more exciting race in Hungary, as in FP3 he was only 0.002s off the fastest time set by the Mercedes of Rosberg. It was not to be, though as Alonso crashed out in the final part of Q3, yellow flagging that sector of the race and effectively scuppering some final flying laps. Max had to make do with starting from P4 on the grid. Not his highest qualifying position this year, but, on a track on which is notoriously difficult to overtake, even getting on the podium could prove tricky (which it did.)
And so it came to pass that P5 was as good as it got, albeit a little controversially. Raikonnen tried repeatedly to pass him in the final few laps of the GP, but only managed to lose part of his front wing for his efforts. Kimi complained that Max was changing direction too often, or too late in the braking zone and that he’d seen people penalized for less. But it was all to no avail: all ears seemed deaf to his protestations and he just had to lump it.
The net result was that Max proved yet again that he could hold off a charging, faster car in the latter stages of a Grand Prix further cementing his rising star status.
Despite a boring race, the earlier part of the week was far from boring. Max only went and won the Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini. It is a very prestigious award, named in honour of the Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini and is awarded annually to the driver who has put in a commendable performance in motorsport. Max was nominated for his outstanding rookie year as a F1 driver with Toro Rosso in 2015. His name is now added to the list of illustrious winners, including Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso, and of course, Toro Rosso’s one and only GP winner, Sebastian Vettel.
Max received his award amidst a flurry of pomp and grandeur, walking on a red carpet, flanked by a guard of honour in medieval costume, greeted by local dignitaries and local fans. Toro Rosso even brought along a fleet of cars consisting of one of every car from the Toro Rosso factory.
Not your average start to the week. No wonder he thought the GP was boring.
What will next week hold for Max? We’ll just have to wait a little while longer to get an answer to that one……………………..