Today’s driver profile is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Max Verstappen is a Red Bull driver that heralds from Monaco but is Dutch Belgian in origin.
I photographed Max here just after he won his 8th GP in Brazil last Sunday. Here he is standing on the car looking pretty excited with himself.
Max was born on the 30th of September 1997 and his middle name is Emilian. He drives the number 33 car and his first race was with Toro Rosso in the Australian GP of 2015 and at the point he was the youngest ever driver at the age of 17 years 166 days, a fair effort.
Max wears the number 33 both on his car and on his wrist, as you can see here, this little elegant bracelet with the number 33 on it. I only realised this the other day, but my Instagram followers tell me he’s had it for some time.
Max has had 8 wins and here’s one of them back in Mexico last year.
Max has only had 2 pole positions though, which is surprising with 8 wins. I photographed him after his most recent pole position when he took it out in Brazil. Here he is giving his trainer Jake Aliker a hug and I’ll go into the other people he knocks around with at the track a bit later.
His first win was in the 2016 Spanish GP at the age of 18 years and 228 days, so he got in early, and you’ll often see him at the track with his father Jos Verstappen, short for Johannes.
Jos was the most successful Dutch racing driver prior to Max, although not a huge career for Jos because he never won and he really only had 2 podiums – so his son has certainly eclipsed him. Jos is now Max’s mentor though, and here is trailing Max.
I often see Max’s sister, Victoria at the track. This was recently in Mexico. She runs the unleash the lion fashion label. I didn’t have much idea about this clothing brand until I did some research and it’s primarily clothing with this logo on it.
As you can see here Max has a lion on his helmet and he has the MV symbol as well. This is a stylised M and V for Max Verstappen and it’s designed by Triple – I must say it’s a pretty snazzy looking bit of kit.
Raymond Vermeulen is here on the left and Raymond is Max’s manager now. Raymond also managed Jos throughout almost all of his career, so it’s running in the family and obviously Raymond has the trust of the Verstappen family.
Jake Aliker is his trainer on the left in this image below. Jake is a hulking man, he’d be 6’3” and very solid – you wouldn’t want to run into him on a rugby field. It’s Jake’s job to look after max at the track, so he’ll train him, run his helmets and sometimes carry his lunch with a big smile on his face. Oftentimes in the pits he’ll be behind Max, who’s often late heading back to the grid. Jake is a fine fella and one of his jobs sometimes, is to look after Max’s girlfriend Dilara Sanlik. Dilara is a delightful young woman and they’ve been going out for a couple of years.
Dilara is a German student form Munich but I believe she is currently studying in London, she’s also a good friend of Caterina Masetti who is Pierre Gasly’s girlfriend. Here’s a shot of the 2 of them with Getty photographer Mark Thompson.
Another woman in Max’s life is Victoria Lloyd. Victoria is his press officer, and you will often see them on television. You’ll often find her on the F1 broadcasts standing next to Max with a recorder, recording everything he says – and last year she used to be Daniel Ricciardo’s press secretary.
Daniel Ricciardo and Max were teammates for a couple of years, and it was a great teaming – and the pair still get on very well today. I especially love this photo from the Austrian GP, where after Max won, Daniel came up and congratulated the Red bull driver.
This year Max has had 2 partners, one of which is Pierre Gasly on the left here.
And later on in the season, Alex Albon on the right and of course Alex has got the nod for 2020 in the Red Bull car.
Off the track, Max spends a lot of time gaming online with McLaren driver Lando Norris. In fact, Max is a prolific gamer, he loves FIFA and will often bring his PlayStation and hard drive to the track
Max Verstappen is very popular on Ziggo sport, which of course is the Dutch network that handles F1, and Jack ploy is a big fan of Max’s.
I remember this day very clearly; this was in Belgium on the Thursday. There was a media call for these two drivers to come and have a chat with the guys from Ziggo sport and in the end they couldn’t get a word in, so the two drivers were just handed the microphone and they did the rest of the interview on their own. It was a very funny thing to watch.
When it comes to fans, Max has probably the most passionate fan base in the world.
Yes, they love their orange outfits and yes, they fill up stands like here in Austria which was effectively Max’s home race at the time.
Of course, next year we get Zandvoort and you can expect to see tens of thousands of those fans in the stands next year turning what is normally a grey stand into something orange.
So that’s Max Verstappen, a great talent in Formula 1 and a guy who’s destined for plenty more wins!