Max hungry for more successes: 'I'm not here to win only four races'

Published on 02 August 2018 by Raymond Snip

Max Verstappen is in the middle of his fourth Formula 1 season. In his 72 Grand Prix races, the Dutchman has experienced many highs but also some lows. Sky Sports had an in-depth interview with Max before he would go off to enjoy a well-earned vacation. Verstappen reflects on his early days in racing and looks into his future.

Max, how would you describe yourself? 
"I’m chilled, I’m not too worried as a person, I take it by the day. Focused, when I need to be and that’s of course on the track once I have my helmet on. Stubborn, you need to be stubborn."

What is your main motivation?
"I love driving a racecar and I love driving it to the limit. When you’re doing well, that’s your motivation to keep doing well. That’s what I enjoy, to live in that moment to feel like that, every single weekend."

What is your earliest childhood memory?
"Just walking around in my dad’s go-kart shop. At the time I saw a kid driving on the go-kart track. He was younger than me, so I wanted to start racing as well."

How did you experience your early years in racing?
"My early days in racing were very easy going. A lot of fun involved, you’re a little kid so you’re playing around a lot and luckily, I was also winning races, so that’s good. Quite quickly I didn’t want to do anything else, I hated school. When you don’t like school, you need to find another way to make a living. I tried go-kart and of course I had great help from my parents. Especially my dad, being an ex-Formula1 driver with a lot of experience. The goal was not always Formula 1 straight away but I always wanted to do something in racing. Because of my dad, I am where I am right now."

When did Formula 1 become attractive?
"It all kick started after the race at the Norris Ring in Formula 3 in 2014. From there on I started to realize that there was a really good possibility that next year I was going to drive in Formula 1. I knew for certain when I signed the deal. Before that I did not take anything for granted."

Are you happy with where you are at the moment?
"At 20 years of age I can’t complain. I love what I do, my hobby became my profession which is really nice. There is a lot more to win, especially in Formula 1. It’s a good start of my career, especially being 20 years old, I’m not done yet."

So far, what are the highlights of your career?
"Winning the World Championship in go-karting was nice, my first race win in Formula 1 was really cool. Also, the victory in Austria, especially in front of so many fans but also with a Red Bull car at the Red Bull Ring was something really amazing."

Were you able to celebrate the victory in Austria?
"We were in a triple-header so you can’t really go partying. I was baby sitting at home for my manager’s son, so pretty standard. I’m not here to win four races. I’m here to win 50 or 60 so you don’t have to celebrate every single win."

What are, besides racing, you biggest passions?
"I’m getting into road cycling again. I loved doing that in Belgium and Holland but then I moved to Monaco and it was initially a bit difficult to find my way around there. But than you team up with some friends and that’s definitely becoming a big passion. I like jet-skiing, I like being out on the boat just having some fun on the water. I also still like gaming. On the simulator at home also on the PlayStation with my friend playing FIFA, I guess all the things any random 20-year-old would do."

To wrap it up, what does the future hold for you?
"I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball so that’s a bit difficult to answer but hopefully way more than four victories. Always believe in yourself, that most important."