On his 24th birthday, a look at Max Verstappen’s journey from kart to Formula 1

Max Verstappen got his first kart at the age of four and it didn't take very long for it to become clear that he had the same skills as his mother and father.

By:Updated: Sep 30, 2021 4:24 PM

Celebrating his 24th birthday today, which is the 30th of September, Max Verstappen sits on top of the list of the youngest drivers to start a Formula 1 race. This happened at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix and today, he’s built an impressive career for himself in the field.

Jos Verstappen had always wanted his son to race karts, but Max asked for one at the age of four which his dad thought was too young. Max did, however, get one and it didn’t take very long for it to become clear that he had the same skills as his mum and dad. And so, began Max’s career travelling across half of Europe to race karts.

Even after bagging a world title in karting, Jos and manager Raymond Vermeulen kept Max away from various F1 training programmes. But when Max did get into Formula 3, he was a title contender since the very first race. It was rather a quick transition to Formula 1 for the young man.

Jos, Max and Raymond Vermeulen were convinced that Toro Rosso was the best next step. They had talks with Mercedes and Ferrari but a spot wasn’t offered.

Also read: F1 2021: Hamilton claims 100th victory as Norris’ gamble leads to heartbreak at Russian GP

At the 2015 Australian GP, Max Verstappen made his F1 debut. With two fourth places in a car that belongs somewhere in the middle of the pack, Verstappen made a big impression. In 2016, Verstappen started at Toro Rosso but got his chance at Red Bull Racing after just a few races.

Although the 2017 season with the Renault engine was disappointing, Verstappen still managed to win a race in Mexico and Malaysia.

Fast forward to 2021 when Max has several race wins under his belt and a successful career. Sure, the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso won their first F1 titles before getting to the age that Verstappen is now at, but then if you think about it, Michael Schumacher didn’t win his first title until the age of 25.

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