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Formula One: Max Verstappen Sr lets out winning secret

AFP
Published : May 17, 2016, 1:31 am IST
Updated : May 17, 2016, 1:31 am IST

Staying cool under pressure is the key to teenager Max Verstappen’s success in becoming the youngest race winner in Formula One history.

Kiara Advani
 Kiara Advani

Staying cool under pressure is the key to teenager Max Verstappen’s success in becoming the youngest race winner in Formula One history.

That is the opinion of the man who knows him best, his father Jos, a former F1 driver who watched in awe on Sunday as his 18-year-old son, the first Dutchman to do so, claimed his record-breaking victory in the Spanish Grand Prix.

As all around him celebrated one of the most stunning achievements in motor sport, Verstappen senior reflected on how his son had resisted all attacks to win ahead of Ferrari’s two world champion drivers, Finn Kimi Raikkonen and German Sebastian Vettel, on his debut with the Red Bull team.

“He’s cool, he knows what to do, but this is his life,” he said

“He has been racing his whole life, so it’s quite normal for him, but to win a Formula One race will always be very special, particularly with the way he won it.

“He was always in control, he didn’t make mistakes, and he deserved it.”

Father Jos drove 106 races in his career, but was never a winner. His son has claimed a win in his 24th outing.

Mercedes in turmoil For the first time in more than five years, the Mercedes team flew home without a finisher, and pointless, following Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s opening-lap collision in the Spanish GP.

The crash ended championship leader Rosberg’s winning streak and delivered Mercedes’ first non-finish since the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, but, worse than that, it reopened a divide between the drivers. The tension and emotion was palpable when they spoke after being cleared of blame for what the race stewards described as a “racing incident”.

Hamilton said he had apologised to the team, but he did not accept blame for attempting to pass Rosberg on the inside at Turn Four.

Rosberg, who conceded that his engine was not in the correct mode, said he moved to defend his position and was surprised by Hamilton.

Location: Spain, Katalonia, Barcelona