Just two years ago, Max was still in karts, but now he is undoubtedly the hottest young property in F1, having completed a meteoric debut season with Toro Rosso.
Some weeks ago, the now 18-year-old got his road driving licence, and reports now suggest he is planning to move out of his dad’s house in Belgium to live independently in Monaco.
“I have already moved,” the young Dutchman, who has a girlfriend, clarified in Abu Dhabi. “I have lived there since the beginning of October.”
Asked what it is like to move out of home amid his newfound F1 stardom, Verstappen explained: “Actually not much has changed, because I travel constantly. And at any time I can go back home to Belgium (to visit).”
He denied moving to Monaco for tax reasons, insisting his salary – probably no more than a few hundred thousand euros – “has not changed” during the course of 2015.
What has changed, however, is the boy himself.
“If you look at photos taken as the season progressed, you see he’s become a real man,” father Jos, himself a former F1 driver, wrote in his column for De Telegraaf newspaper.
“You can tell by the look in his eyes. In terms of character, Max hasn’t changed, but as a person he grew tremendously in the last nine months,” he added. “More mature, independent and knowing the ways of the world.
“I notice it in my role as well,” Jos revealed. “I’ve had less and less to do.”
Jos explained that because Max is now more independent, he has more time to think about the bigger picture, including securing a race-winning car for 2017.
“It gives me the opportunity to chat with people and to keep an eye on all the developments behind the scenes,” Jos admitted. “Obviously that’s all in Max’s interest.” (GMM)