3 strikes for wonder kid Max

Max V Kimi at Spa
Brought to you by TJ13 contributor @F1TheAJ
Three, it’s a magic number……..
Max and Kimi are the youngest and oldest drivers on the grid: well they do say opposites attract, but not necessarily in a good way in this case. What IS going on here? Not for the first time this season Max and Kimi have tried to be in the same place at the same time, and again, not in a good way.

Not one, or two but three incidents between Max and Kimi in the race at Spa.

The first was arguably the most dramatic (but not the most dangerous). It involved a three way crunch between VET, RAI and VES on the entry to Le Source. It is a pretty short (271m) run to this first corner and has been the scene of some messy incidents. Ros was on pole with VES, RAI and VET in Ps 2,3 &4. VET (as has often been the case this season) got off to a good start, leapfrogging RAI and VES for P2 into T1. VET, from the outside turned sharply into Le Source ahead of Rai in P3 and VES in P4 and initially made contact with RAI, sending VET into a spin. VES was off the track on the inside and then forced RAI wide on the exit. Net result: three damaged cars, three unhappy drivers.

The second incident between Kimi and Max was on L12, with VES in P14 and Rai in P15. RAI overtook VES but VES came back under breaking, contact was made (again), VES was slightly off track, RAI fully off and re entered the track ahead of VES. Leaving the track was seen as giving RAI an unfair advantage, so he had to give the place back to VES.

The third incident happened on L13 when, at full speed, with his DRS flaps open, Rai moved to the right to pass VES. Once RAI had started his maneuver, VES defended his position and also moved right. RAI narrowly escaped rear ending VES by braking hard. The air turned a lighter shade of blue in that moment as RAI made his opinion known.

So, who was right, who was wrong or were they just racing incidents?………after all, no penalties were handed out (or was that another misjudgment by the stewards?) Is the inexperience of The Wonder Kid Max Verstappen beginning to show, or is his brilliance of driving on the limit shining through? Please make your feelings known in the comments below……………..


34 responses to “3 strikes for wonder kid Max

  1. In my limited knowledge I would say the kid is pushing way harder than is needed. He is trying to live upto the hype that has been generated and frankly if he carries on like this he will either rise to the top or fail in a spectacular way. It’s easy to sit here and be critical of the kid but as every Dad knows..teens know best,they will not listen and make their own mistakes but not many have to do this in front of a few million fans and peers. His age is showing in these incidents and if I could give him any advice it would be to calm down and just learn the ropes. Most drivers rise up through the ranks and learn race and life skills, Max has skipped this step and is learning his trade in the top category and imho this is a huge mistake ,it sounds harsh but he needs a large shunt or a few knocks into the kitty litter to understand that failure can hurt emotionally as well as physically because so far he has had a very easy rise to the top..to finish first,first you must fail!

  2. And where the hell is his media minder for those doorstop interviews… the one who can whisper in his ear “shut up, Max”.

  3. Everyone want’s overtaking thats F1 in a nutshell, but it has to be measured by the other driver(s). Is he going to take me out or worse still kill me. For me Max overstepped when Kimi attempted the DRS on the straight pass at very high speed. Kimi eased off and Max got away with it. The other moves are just him sticking his elbows out and saying I here.

  4. Repurposing my post from an earlier thread…
    Turn one – blame around two thirds Vettel, one third Verstappen, with Raikkonen blameless – and a racing incident, as held by the stewards.
    I don’t attach serious blame to either of two for the move – if you’re gentlemanly every time, you’ll always finish behind. Racing incident was the right conclusion; but if you’re going to make aggressive manoeuvres, you have to accept that they can go wrong – otherwise you’re effectively saying that you are the only driver who has the right to use a threatened crash to take a position, and everyone else just has to get out of the way. Verstappen appears to think that he is the only one with the right to be aggressive without consequences.

    Verstappen then had the unusual opportunity, thanks to the red flag, to have a good look at the replay of the first corner incident during the race. Rather note, as everyone else who has expressed an opinion, that Raikkonen was entirely blameless, and had his race prospects ruined too thanks to Verstappen and Vettel’s over-enthusiasm, the petulant kid decided to get some payback – as he has confirmed at least a couple of times in interviews since the race.

    The retaliatory driving was IMO unacceptable. It’s not as though there were any big points at stake, and Verstappen pitted quite soon after the egregious 200 mph block, rendering it pretty pointless in any event. The edging off the track was borderline, nowhere near as dangerous. I understand that individually these moves were probably somewhere around the borderline of what’s allowed by current rules (and probably just inside it), but taking the full context of the race, and his subsequent comments, I would be seriously disappointed if Verstappen does not get some sort of warning, otherwise he will continue to play roulette. The block was clearly risking a serious accident – fine if you’re the only one at risk, but doing it to someone else IMO unacceptable.

    And just to repeat the kids words back to him…
    “I mean what is he doing? It’s dangerous. I’m riding over 300kph and he’s blocking me.”
    Verstappen, FP2.

    • I don’t agree.
      Read this article of mister Anderson.

      “Verstappen’s overtaking, and defence against being overtaken later in the race, was also acceptable. He was right on the limit, but again that’s what makes him stand out from the rest.

      As a new driver in F1 you need to stamp your authority from day one, and that’s what he’s doing. The greats before him did it and if the others around him can’t cope with it then it’s probably time for them to move on. After all, drivers like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher had their critics and they didn’t do badly.

      What the other drivers need to remember is that, at the age of 18, Max Verstappen is now the box-office draw for Formula 1 and it’s only his way of driving that’s doing that.
      The day he matures and doesn’t drive in his own aggressive way is the day he simply becomes another one of the drivers on the F1 grid.
      I have worked with many young, new-to-F1 drivers and have to say it can be frustrating when they throw things away when, if they just thought a little bit more about what they were doing, they could have pulled out a better result. But we were rarely in a winning position, just points gathering.

      It’s different when you’re driving for a potentially championship-winning team. You need to take every opportunity when it’s presented to you.

      • So then everyone should do what Max did and it will be OK. Can you imagine that? it will be nascar but with delicate open cockpit protypes on road circuits. If you think that is advanced racecraft, then you should tune into NASCAR instead. If what Max did was “nothing”, why was Gutierrez penalized in FP for “nothing”? He merely drove in the middle of the road leaving ample room on both sides of his car and he got a severe penalty.
        Double standards in F1 again.

      • A load of generalities (some of which I’d go along with) but they really don’t address the specific criticisms at all.

        It’s also notable that both times during the race when Verstappen forced drivers off the track (Raikkonen lap 12 and Perez in the same place on lap 25), he moved so far across that he crossed the track limits on the outside of the corner with all four wheels – and in the first case the entire kerb. In no sense is that “right on the limit”.

      • “You need to take every opportunity when it’s presented to you.”

        I’d agree with that. Second on the grid to eleventh at the finish ?

  5. This is all extremely over-analyzed. I’ve seen so called dangerous moves from every driver. Even experienced guys like alonso and Kimi himself. When it comes to overtaking there is a responsibility both ways. Kimi seems doubtfull when overtaking, Doubt is more dangerous then determination in my opinion. Look at the same battle Max had with Vettel. Vettel didnt doubt when overtaking en no dangerous situation occured.

    This type of over analyzing will only lead to a smear campaign and will overshadow the amazing stuff Max can do(look at overtakes at rosberg in silverstone, or blanchimont on Nasr).

  6. The faster a new kid on the block is, the greater is the backlash against him. Max doesn’t escape the rule and people are just ganging up on him.

  7. Earlier today I made a comparisson.

    A clan of Baboons has several alpha males with their own peace of the rock that is theirs to claim. Verstappen just got his peace by fighting of a other male and wants to mark his territory and claim his share and place.
    One of these caracteristics is that he is agressive to other older alpha mails so they notice him, respect him and acknowledge him as on of them. The other way around the older males are agressive towards him to let him know they see him, respect him and acknowledge him. But let him know he is still young and still has a lot to learn. It’s a proces that will end and everybody will settle in on his own peace of rock!

    He is agressive, he is dangerous, he is on the very edge of regulations. No foubt about it! Bit he does not cross this line yet… So cut the kid some slack and stop bashing him over it.
    Also it has been a while that racing in F1 was this thrilling and F1 needs it. He makes awesome overtakes without contact/locking up and stuff like that, puts up a great fight if somebody challenges him for position and he doesn’t back down.
    He is exciting and refreshing and I watched a film on Youtube with a interview of Senna and Schumacher where they criticised them for being to agressive. It reflects on Verstappen perfectly.

    To me this is all part of the game and I want to see more of this for years to come. And trust me, the kid is in control 99% of the time and knows exactly what he is doing. Watch some old footage of him karting, F3 and last year.

  8. You see this sometimes in motorcycle riders. A guy who can ride faster than the field (or in Max’s case, a guy who is perhaps more aggressive and an outsized talent for his age). Usually its because they have no fear because they have never crashed.

    Max is going to. He can’t keep up this type of driving forever, its too reckless. Its not brilliant at this point in his career, its sheer guts and attitude and youth and aggression. He lacks yet the ability to harness and channel that into a full racer. He’s still raw. We have yet to see what he will become.

    But the point is thus: Max needs to learn a lesson the hard way, and unfortunately he’s going to do it on the biggest of stages it looks like, if not this season, then next. Spa was a terrible result for him as far as race management goes, but at least he didn’t DNF.

    Sorry to say it Max fans, but jerk-weaving at 300kph in the DRS zone on a car with equal or better power is going to cause an accident. Its not proper defense as far as I know the rule book defines it.

    • Had this discussion before; defending is reacting on your oponent!

      If Verstappen moves first he opens a door to his oponent and can’t slam it. So he only can watch his oponent take advantage. Be making your oponent moving first you can react to this and create an oppotunity your self.

      And it’s not like he is doing this all the time, from all moves the one at Kimi in Spa was by far the worst and most agressive. And he admits it that he did it as well. Pure frustration seeing a good result for his home croud and family gone to waste by a bad start and oppotunistic drive in to a gap.
      But being on SS he needed to be second after the first corner to make the strategy stick, 3rd or 4th would kill his strategy. So it was all or nothing. And as the start of 2013 in Spa (and many many more starts and overtakes at La Source) have shown. His move is common and could work perfectly, if not for Vettel throwing his car in.

    • Indeed. We’ve seen this sort of thing before. Over-adulation of an immature driver/rider rapidly turning the recipient into a monster of vanity and self-justification. You don’t have to look very far.

  9. Yes, as a big fan I also would like to see max return to his slightly more humble and cooler driving at Toro Rosso. When he had to prove he was not too young. That helped him to just keep the line. No crazy stuff like we saw from Kvyat, which cost him the ride. The retaliation was a bad omen.

  10. the thing is that this isn’t a videogame. this is real life and it is reckless and puts people’s lives at risk. Spectators, marshals, other drivers with families and responsibilities. To have a hormone-fueled meltdown on track is unacceptable, ESPECIALLY in F1. Oh and what an amazing drive from p2 to p11. just awesome.

  11. Kimi would like to shine before he retires and Max is preventing him from doing that … and that frustrates the daylight of Kimi. Max wanted to shine at Spa and Kimi prevented him from doing that … and that frustrated the daylight out of Max.

  12. Senna made the comment that he tried to put his car in a position where the other driver had to move to prevent an accident. Schumacher drove like that. Hamilton drives like that. Vettel (usually) drives like that. Max drives like that as well. The problem at La Source was that Vettel didn’t see Max and Max didn’t compute that Vettel would be where he was. Vettel committed to a move that required Kimi to move toward the apex. Max committed to a move that required Kimi to move away from the apex. Kimi is blameless here, with the fault landing squarely on Seb and Max. As Max was trying to dive under 2 cars (and the only one with forward view of the other two cars…), I give him slightly more blame than Seb. Really though, this is the epitome of a racing accident. To claim he was the victim is just boneheaded. To claim the La Source incident broke his floor is disingenuous–that happened during his 3 high speed off track excursions on lap one. No one to blame but himself there. Compare this to Kimi who limped around the lap and kept his race care largely intact–and recovered points for his wise driving.
    I will ask the simple question-what was the difference in Max pushing Kimi off at the end of the Kemmel straight and Nico pushing Max off a few races back?
    As for Max’s weaving to block at high speed, well that’s bonehead again…
    Other food for thought–it is well documented in scientific literature that the male brain is still developing the cause and consequence reasoning up into the mid 20’s. I think we saw fine examples of that at Spa (and in the follow up interviews!).
    Max is an undeniable talent; but wow he needs to mature.
    “Max is going to cause an accident.” Well, actually he already has–remember Monaco? Max is going to cause several big accidents.
    Slightly off topic–goings on at the back were also amusing at the start. When the mayhem starts at La Source, Alonso seized the opportunity and passed a couple cars; Hamilton backed off. Nice reflection of what each had to lose.

  13. Has anyone noticed the difference in Max’s driving for Torro Rosso versus Red Bull? It might be the same pressure as Kvyat felt which is harming Max’s reputation. The cool driving in his first year got him part of his reputation (next to the fantastic and daring driving). I miss the coolness in his head.

  14. The one time I can recall Max getting a penalty, Grosjean at Monaco, he didn’t accept responsibility, so stewards looking the other way isn’t going to change his outlook.
    He also isn’t Senna

  15. Max is the talent we were waiting for!
    Since his introduction in 2015 the F1 got a blast in fans.
    We need fighters like this.
    And yes he makes mistakes.
    And yes he drives aggresive.
    And yes he wants to win.
    And yes he is acts sometimes in doubt.
    But did not all champ drivers did in the past.
    At least we all have something to look to, to write about and to hope for.
    Best battels since many years!
    Brundles comment after Spa subscribes it the best.

  16. “Ros was on pole with VES, RAI and VET in Ps 2,3 &4. VET (as has often been the case this season) got off to a good start, leapfrogging RAI and VES for P2 into T1. VET, from the outside turned sharply into Le Source ahead of Rai in P3 and VES in P4 and initially made contact with RAI, sending VET into a spin. VES was off the track on the inside and then forced RAI wide on the exit.”

    I’m sorry, but this is truly appalling journalism. It’s sloppy, lazy, and sounds as if it’s designed to appeal only to 11 year old children. The abbreviations are used on screen in order to enable the viewer to see the standings without losing sight of the action. They certainly aren’t there to enable journalists to short-cut. Can you imagine The Times, The Guardian, Autosport, Joe Saward, or even The Sun using VET, RAI, VES in their race report? No, neither can I.

    If that is what this site aspires to, then I’m out. The Judge should, at the very least, be editing these pieces.

    • Many thanks for your comments regarding my piece……at least you took the trouble to read it!! I’m sorry you took umbrage at my style of writing, as I certainly did not intend to cause offence to you or anyone else on this site. I do not consider myself a ‘journalist’ (by any stretch of the imagination) but I do consider myself an F1 enthusiast who takes the time (out of a fairly busy schedule) and puts in the effort to write (short) articles on my hobby which I hope others will find interesting.

      I really do not have any idea of the F1 experience or expertise of the readers of these articles, so pitching the level of the piece is something I have struggled with (because let’s face it, every expert starts out as a beginner.)

      Coming form a scientific background (professionally) it is the the norm to use abbreviations e.g the writer would use Verstappen (VES) and thereafter refer to Verstappen as VES, having explained that VES is the abbreviation of Verstappen. When writing these pieces I make certain assumptions (rightly or wrongly) namely that the reader will have SOME experience of F1 and will therefore know that VES refers to Verstappen without having to have this explained to them.
      In the unlikely event that I write pieces for The Times, The Guardian or suchlike I certainly would not make these assumptions (as the readership may be more general and not necessarily F1 centered) and would use the full name of the driver (or team) before going on to use the abbreviations.

      The name of the writer is placed at the beginning of each article so the reader can tell who wrote it (and can choose whether to continue reading.) It would be a pity for you to miss out on all the other articles this site has to offer just because you don’t like my style.

      As for The Judge (or his representatives) editing the pieces before they are published, I feel assured that that is indeed the case (in fact I KNOW IT IS THE CASE) and if The Judge is happy to publish the article,then that’s good enough for me.

      • Thank you for responding to this.

        I wasn’t suggesting for one second that readers wouldn’t understand the meaning of the abbreviations, simply that they were not appropriate for a journalistic piece (which this is, even if you’d rather it wasn’t referred to as such). A political piece repeatedly referring to CAM, COR, GOV, OSB and MIL would still be understood by the reader, but you have never, and will never, see this in print.

        You may not consider yourself a journalist but, if you are submitting articles to this site, then you will be judged as such, and should aspire to the level of your peers.

        Hope you take this constructively.

        • I really don’t want to go on about this, but as I said in my initial response, I am from a scientific background and in my world abbreviations are the norm. If you read scientific literature you will see that abbreviations do appear in print, regularly. The Judge (or his representatives) have the final say on what is and is not published on this site. The article was edited and appeared as printed, having (presumably) reached the aspirational level of my peers. Please be aware, your comments have been read, understood and will be assimilated accordingly.

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