SOMEONE is tugging at Superman’s cape and he isn’t going away.
I love the way Max Verstappen has been challenging the world’s best driver Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1 racing this 2021 season.
Verstappen topped the chaotic Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last April 18 ahead of Hamilton. His aggressive driving got this huge checkered flag finish ahead of the Briton.
The season-starting Bahrain GP last March 8 had the Englishman finishing first once more with the Belgian coming in second.
It is best that Verstappen make the headlines for his driving instead of runs in with fellow F1 drivers. I am surprised that he got away with nary a slap on the wrist after his comments after Romain Grosjean’s crash in the 2020 Bahrain GP wherein the Frenchman miraculously escape death following a horrific crash.
During the post-race press conference, when asked about whether drivers should continue the race after a red flag, Verstappen said, “If I were the team boss I would kick them out of the race. I would tell the guy he would never sit in this seat again.”
Hamilton who sat two meters away looked at him remarked “I hope you will never be my team boss.”
Not long after that, he insulted Canadian Lance Stroll and Mongolians in general following a collision with the former during preparations for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.
When asked if his comments would infuriate Mongolians, his retort was, “it isn’t my problem.”
When Max doubles down on his comments, I suspect they are only done so as a public relations move and are rather insincere.
He said he supported Hamilton’s t-shirts that decried racism, but he refused to kneel down. Granted, a person has the right to say and express himself, I wonder though if the gesture is sincere.
Helmut Marko, the famed Austrian race driver and an advisor on Red Bull’s racing team called out Verstappen and said that such comments should not be tolerated.
How and why the Federation Internationale de’lAutomobile (FIA) has not acted on them is puzzling.
Verstappen too had had his run ins with Sebastian Vettel that are—for lack of a better word—legendary. And the Belgian has been getting on the nerves of Hamilton over time.
More so now that Ben Hodgkinson, the head of Mercedes’ high performance powertrains, will become the technical director of the equivalent department over at Red Bulls.
I do get why Red Bull’s principal owner Charles Horner signed Verstappen away from Toro Rosso which is the brother team of the Austrian beverage company. Verstappen not only has nerve, but balls of steel.
He has courage and skill that you need in this intense world of F1 racing. And he is only 23 years of age (while Hamilton is 36). This kid is going to be very very good for years to come.
In fact, I actually thought that his former Red Bull teammate in Daniel Ricciardo bailed out on their team because he knew he couldn’t hold Max back for long.
The Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit is this Sunday, May 2. Like all F1 fans, I’ll be glued to this. I just hope it will be just racing. And of course, to see if Max Verstappen can continue to dog Lewis Hamilton who has been the best driver in the past seven, eight years.