Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull’s main team after a stint at the junior team, Toro Rosso, in early 2016, replacing Daniil Kvyat at the four races at the beginning of that year.
He won on his debut at the Spanish Grand Prix of that championship, becoming the youngest victor in F1 history at 18 years and 227 days, but was often criticized by rivals for his aggressive maneuvers on the track, leading to the late F1 race director , Charlie Whiting, to warn him that he could “get a bad rap” after the Belgian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was involved in a number of incidents during the early stages of the 2018 season, including on-track accidents with Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain and Sebastian Vettel in China.
Later, he paid the price for a mistake in Monaco practice, forcing him to start from behind, while Ricciardo enjoyed the race and victory.
That sparked a shift in Verstappen’s approach, and he has since racked up 12 wins to lead the Red Bull World Cup fight in 2021, though his points lead was reduced to eight after Hamilton survived his accident in the first. lap at the British Grand Prix to win.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
In a statement prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, the driver of McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo, said that Verstappen had matured in his approach and had learned to eliminate those mistakes that had ruined the beginning of his career.
“I think Max was under a bit of, let’s say, pressure in his first couple of years in F1, with some of his moves and stuff,” said the Australian. “I definitely think that he has improved a lot and I think he has matured as a driver.”
“He sure will always compete hard. But, I mean, we were teammates. [durante] three years [y] We touched a couple of times, so it’s pretty low numbers I think. “
Speaking after the British GP showdown between the two title rivals, Ricciardo said Hamilton had entered “too hot for the level of grip on the corner” but clarified in Hungary that he believed the accident was an incident. career.
“They have been racing hard all year, so I have blamed it, in general, on a racing incident,” he said. “I think the main thing was that Max, let’s say, came out safe and sound. Obviously, for his health and well-being, he’s great and also for the sake of the championship.”