People get on his back for his recklessness this season, but let’s not forget that Max Verstappen is still on track to become the greatest of all time.
There’s quite literally not a realistic record for ‘youngest (___)’ he hasn’t broken yet. Verstappen is the youngest ever driver in F1 history. He’s the youngest ever F1 race-winner. The youngest ever to score points. The first ever Dutchman to win a race.
Verstappen is currently in his fourth season in the F1, and he’s still just 20 years old. 20! For example, Lewis Hamilton didn’t even make his debut in the F1 until he was 22. Verstappen will be in his sixth season when he’s 22. I can’t stress enough how impressive this is.
Of course, every young athlete runs into a wall at some point early in their careers. Not often is it quite as literal as in Verstappen’s case, but you get the point.
He’s currently in a big slump. Weekend after weekend, he makes a mistake that costs him. In Australia he spun, in Bahrain, he collided with Lewis Hamilton which ended Verstappen’s race, in China he bumped into Sebastian Vettel and both of them spun out, in Baku, he crashed with Daniel Ricciardo, and in Monaco, he slammed into the arm coat during practice, which made him start from last place. Because of this, he’s grown a reputation.
Verstappen and Magnussen starting on the same row of the grid. pic.twitter.com/mTjCsiOKrV
— Niran. [IVI] (@TheOfficialFNG) 27 May 2018
That’s a long, long list of collisions, especially if you consider we’re only six races into the season. But this is normal for a driver of his age, to be so aggressive that it seems reckless at times. Do you remember Hamilton in his first years? He wasn’t exactly the calm and consistent driver that he is know, to put it lightly.
My point is that Verstappen will learn from this. He knows so himself, he’s said so publicly. His talent level is scary, otherwise he wouldn’t be where is today. We see flashes of his greatness now, and if you’re a sports fan of any kind, you know that consistency comes with the years.
Verstappen still has at least fifteen years in the F1 to go. That’s a long time for someone in his fourth season. He’ll get good again by the end of the season, probably, and nobody will be calling him the next Pastor Maldonado anymore from that moment on.
Max Verstappen’s potential is scary to think about, and six poor races don’t change the fact that he’s on the trajectory to become the Greatest Of All Time.
Featured image per Red Bull Content Pool (edit of the crown on his head photoshopped by myself)