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2018 F1

Is Max Verstappen’s stocks waning?

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It was the year 2015. The Formula 1 season was starting with all the usual fanfare. Yet, there was something different about this one as a 17-year-old teenager by the name of Max Verstappen was making his debut. All this was ludicrous as young Max didn’t even have a regular driving license.

The reason such a youngster was given the chance to compete at the highest levels of open car racing was that he was born with the innate ability to be really fast while having a level head during tough situations in the race. Both these skills usually take years to learn and implement. Many F1 legends still didn’t see the merit in letting such a youngster compete but he answered them all with his first win at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. The race showed how good of a racing instinct he had and was often rated higher than his teammate Daniel Ricciardo which is an even bigger achievement.

Come 2018 and Max has committed more errors than give us breathtaking racing moments. 2017 was littered with incidents between him and Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen all of which got him the moniker of a reckless and dangerous driver. The race in China last week didn’t help matters as the safety car coupled with Red Bull’s quick strategy call handed the race victory on a platter to him. He was the fastest on the track and on the freshest tires. This was China, one of the easiest tracks when it comes to overtaking. To top it all of he had plenty of laps remaining too and yet he went barging at everyone. His first tangle with Hamilton lost him a chance at race victory. Taking out Vettel in what was the dumbest move of the race crushed all hopes of a Red Bull 1-2.

Next up is the Azerbaijan GP and all eyes will be on Max. All the F1 greats have been aggressive and that has sometimes landed them in hot waters. Yet, they make up for it with how cool and collected they are at most races. Max, on the other hand, has cultivated an image of a spoilt brat who feels he is always right and never willing to accept his faults. He feels entitled for some reason and that shows up in the way he goes about overtaking. He simply goes for it and hopes that the other car just disappears. As much as F1 needs its villains, it shouldn’t come at the cost of crashes and dangerous driving. When Max made his debut, what surprised everyone was his maturity. That is the very thing lacking in his racing style now. While others have been moving forward, he has been moving backward. Doing that when you are in a team that is playing second fiddle to the Mercs and the Ferraris and where wins do not come by that easily, squandering a golden opportunity like the one in China has only made his image diminish in front of the movers and shakers in F1. Helmut Marko called it a mistake and saying that he will be under immense scrutiny is a major understatement. All this is gearing up to make the Azerbaijan GP on the 29th of April a gripping race both on and off track. Till then you can pass your time by playing 918kiss game.

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