Brazilian Grand Prix: The rise of Max Verstappen

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Brazilian Grand Prix: The rise of Max Verstappen; Take a bow
Image Courtesy: Morio/ Wikipedia Commons

We knew it was coming! It looks like the race track is ready to forgive every mistake Max Verstappen has committed on track that included five safety car outings, two red flags and at least a dozen close encounters in the awfully wet Brazilian Grand Prix. That’s how bad it was on the tracks that saw four cars crashing within 20 laps. But Max Verstappen rose like a phoenix amidst chaos.

Flawlessly audacious, daring and adventurous Mad Max was the Star of the race, as he swept  past one car after another in the last 8 laps of the flooded Brazilian Grand Prix. Even his critics were on their knees at the end of the race, even as the Flying Dutch fetched a well-earned 3rd place. A position that did not come easy. What’s more? 3-time World Champion and Chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team Niki Lauda hailed Mad Max’s driving in Brazil as the best he has ever seen.

Even before the race began, Max Verstappen was supposedly under pressure from his F1 critics to keep it cool and stay away from the top Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The tensions were ripe and sour as Mercedes chief had called Verstappen’s dad, Jos, to enlighten the son on fair racing and safety. Hola! Toto Wolff; Verstappens had a befitting reply at the end of the race.

Max Verstappen started 4th on the starting grid behind Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen. The Brazilian Grand Prix began with the safety car piloting the first few laps even as the clouds started accumulating over the Sao Paulo city horizon. In fact, Lauda ridiculed the decision to have a safety car start. After passing Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg, Mad Max had eyes set on overtaking the race leader Lewis Hamilton. His love for the white line proved costly, as he spun dangerously on Lap 38. His recovery was sheer genius as he kept all his wheel running, and regained control before his suspension could hit the side wall leading to the pit lane.

Blame it on the pit stop management that Verstappen failed to stretch Hamilton in the race. Three pit-stops pulled the Red Bull racer to 15th position by 60th lap. 11 laps to go; Verstappen passed the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez, his own team mate Daniel Riccardio. As Lauda put it, “I knew he is good; but today he was incredible.”

The race was not short of moments elsewhere. It saw Felipe Massa spin out of the race; his last at home. He earned a tearful goodbye from the fans and team members. Other teams too extended their ovation to the Williams Martini racer who started his career with Sauber and moved to Ferrari. Two red-flags took away 35-odd minutes away from the race day; fans relentlessly cheering for the drivers to keep the engines running.

For now, it is evident that Red Bull’s Mad Max Verstappen is alluringly brave. And he pushed even the commentators to swear it Live on TV. More action when the F1 caravan moves to Abu Dhabi Grand prix for its finale of the season. Max Verstappen will remain the star racer to watch out for… Something Toto Wolff may not agree with.

WARNING: Offensive Language

Image Courtesy: Morio/ Wikipedia Commons

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