Max Verstappen says pulling off impressive overtaking manoeuvres “feels normal” to him, after he quickly established himself as a feisty racer during his rookie Formula One season.
Many eyebrows were raised when the Dutchman was confirmed at Toro Rosso at age 16 in the summer of 2014. Verstappen quickly silenced his critics though, running well in the top 10 during Melbourne’s curtain-raiser before becoming the youngest driver ever to score championship points at the next event in Malaysia.
The teenager went on delivering a series of impressive performances, including a pair of fourth-place finishes in Hungary and Austin. But what really captured the fans’ imagination were Verstappen’s inclination towards breath-taking passes in his Renault-powered STR10, like going on the outside of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr at Spa’s very high-speed Blanchimont turn (see picture).
While the Dutch prodigy is naturally pleased to be praised for his daring race craft, he claims this has always been part of his driving style.
“For me it feels normal,” Verstappen is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “It's what I like to do! It is, of course, nice to hear [compliments], but I just try to be myself and do what I always did.”
Although his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix performance ranked below the high standards he has set all season, the Toro Rosso driver still managed to finish an impressive 12th in the Drivers’ championship.
“It has been a very eventful season. Maybe the first six or seven races could have been a bit better, but I've learned a lot and my experience grows race by race.
“I'm much more confident in the car and know what to do now when I jump in so, definitely, it's much more relaxing now.”
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