Verstappen turns 19 in style at Malaysian Grand Prix

Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates his 19th birthday before practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – SEPTEMBER 30: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates his 19th birthday before practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has fitted in an incredible amount into his short career so far on the track, which we look back on in words, photos and videos for his 19th birthday.

Max was always destined for the top, especially with father Jos’ pedigree as an F1 driver who started more than 100 Grand Prix for several teams.

A Belgian by birth, Max was in the seat of a kart before he turned five. It came as no surprise when he graduated quickly through the ranks to become the 2013 World KZ champion 10 years later – the highest karting category.

Formula Three soon came calling the following year where Max finished his rookie season third behind current Manor Racing driver Esteban Ocon and Briton Tom Blomqvist.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – SEPTEMBER 30: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Red Bull acted fast to bring Max into the fold with his 2015 Scuderia Toro Rosso seat alongside Carlos Sainz confirmed within days of his Junior Team arrival.

He warmed up for his rookie season by taking part in free practice at the 2014 Japanese GP – the youngest ever driver to participate in a Grand Prix weekend.

His actual F1 race debut at the 2015 Australian GP, aged just 17 years and 166 days, saw him shatter the previous record for youngest driver by almost two years.

After engine failure in Melbourne cost him his first points finish, he finished seventh next time out in Malaysia to set yet another Formula 1 record.

His best 2015 finishes were fourth at the Hungarian and US Grand Prix, which helped him win the coveted Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – SEPTEMBER 30: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 30, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

A promotion to Red Bull Racing arrived four races into the 2016 season, after Daniil Kvyat’s problems at the Russian GP.

Max wasted no time at all in making a quick impression for his new employers by claiming his first Grand Prix victory with a phenomenal drive at the Spanish GP.

Three further podiums in Austria, Great Britain and Germany has enhanced his reputation even more, despite his aggressive driving ruffling a few feathers.

Malaysia promises to be another step forward in his stellar career progress, so all that’s left to say is Happy Birthday Max!

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing in the Paddock during previews for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 29, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – SEPTEMBER 29: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing in the Paddock during previews for the Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit on September 29, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

More information on Red Bull Racing HERE

 

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