Mercurial rise led to 'F2' mistakes for Verstappen in F1

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15.
© XPB 

Max Verstappen says his rapid promotion to F1 after just a single year of racing led to mistakes that others made earlier in their career.

A successful career in karting, which he started at just five-years-old, and good mentoring by his father encouraged Verstappen to switch to cars in 2014.

With the support of Red Bull, the Dutchman finished third in the European Formula 3 Championship, winning ten races, a track record that encouraged Red Bull Motorsport boss Helmut Marko to include the young charger in Toro Rosso's F1 line-up for 2015.

At just 17, Verstappen was promoted to the big time, and then enjoyed further advancement in 2016 when he stepped up to Red Bull, winning at the outset in Barcelona and becoming the sport's youngest ever Grand Prix winner.

However, Verstappen's formative years in F1 were marked by a few high-profile mistakes. But after a troubled start to his season in 2018, the 21-year-old has reined in his aggression and undoubtedly gained in maturity and consistency.

"Last year, from the second half of the season it was good," Verstappen.

"It can always be better. Over the years, you learn how to be better.

"Through experience, from the races I’ve done, I’m definitely not a rookie now.

"I’ve done 90-plus starts, so of course, I did only one year in F3 and getting into F1 is a big jump, so I guess you made a few mistakes which maybe others have made in F2."

A seven-time Grand Prix winner, Verstappen continues to grow, which is perhaps a frightening fact to grasp for his rivals.

"I’m still getting better," he added. "I’m only 21.

"[I have better] consistency, knowing when to peak, when not to, when to take a risk, when not to. Trying to bring a result back and score the points."

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