Max Verstappen is clearly a big talent and he should become a world champion in the future if Red Bull can give him a car capable of winning every weekend.
He’s a very good overtaker as well and at times has shown maturity way beyond his years. His tyre management masterclass in Spain to take his maiden victory for example. He will continue to improve for sure.
Unfortunately though at there is a negative side to him; and in particular…. his fanatical fans.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having massive amounts of passion when you support a driver. Of course it’s understandable that Dutch fans love Max because he’s clearly very talented and is doing a great job against more experienced drivers and he’s only 19.
However, one person in particular really got on my nerves on Saturday. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but to launch an attack on multiple drivers without backing it up was quite incredible http://www.hoemannendenken.nl/2016/10/22/open-letter-to-romain-grosjean-sebastian-vettel-kimi-raikkonen-lewis-hamilton-and-fernando-alonso/
There are drivers I don’t particularly like but I would never wish bad on them. Alonso for example. I may not like the guy since 2007 but throughout his career he’s been an incredibly clean racer and one of the best I’ve seen since I started watching F1 in 1999. I certainly respect him on track and his achievements in F1.
But to launch attacks on other drivers and nearly all the world champions is completely unacceptable in my opinion. All the drivers are entitled to speak up if they find something is not acceptable.
All the drivers love good, hard battles and it’s always great to see a brilliant defence by a driver. Alonso defending brilliantly against Schumacher in a slower car at Turkey in 2006 for example https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wVcgntIF1-Q
However, some of Verstappen’s defensive moves have clearly crossed the line this year. DRS does make it way too easy to overtake at some tracks and it’s not great to watch; but it’s part of F1 at the moment and that’s the way it is.
What he has done on multiple occasions this season by moving in the braking zone is totally unacceptable. Since I started watching F1 I’ve known that moving late in the braking zone is a big no no. It could have fatal consequences.
All the drivers have families and as well as that if there was a massive accident like we could have had at Spa, the people sitting on the banking on the straight heading up to Les Combes could get hit by debris or tyres potentially.
Verstappen’s behaviour after the race at Spa was also worrying. Saying “If turn one hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been so aggressive and pushed Raikkonen out like that.” As Kimi said at Monza, F1 is not a place for payback. Making a driver brake and moving too late on the straight is one of the worst things I’ve seen in F1.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to make a mark against the experienced guys and nothing wrong with not fearing them either; but Max’s lack of respect and his arrogance towards other drivers and the incidents he’s been caught up in is very concerning indeed.
He’s only 19 and hopefully as he gets older he will respect the other drivers more.
The same most definitely goes for his fans. After almost every race, they go on social media they seem to have a go at other drivers by abusing them and their fans too. Max is not a saint and has done things wrong like every other driver on the grid has at some point in their careers.
It’s really not that difficult to vote for other drivers for DOTD when they have done a better job than him and to respect all drivers on the grid; even if you don’t like them.
Unfortunately many of the Max fanatics remind me of Valentino Rossi’s cult following. They think he’s god and do no wrong as we saw in Monaco 2015 when VES crashed into Grosjean and the Frenchman was accused of brake testing by Max and his fans http://en.f1i.com/news/13274-verstappen-blames-grosjean-for-brake-test.html. Also they hate pretty much everyone else on the grid.
This is not aimed at all Verstappen fans and there’s plenty of you who respect the others. Unfortunately the fanatics shout the loudest online and it’s really annoying at this stage. It’s really not difficult to respect the other 21 drivers. The other drivers are certainly not cowards or chickens either.
Voting for Verstappen as DOTD every race weekend is also embarrassing and makes the normal fans look completely stupid.
Let’s hope Max learns to be more humble, cut out the dangerous defensive manoeuvres, show more respect; but also continue to race close to the limit and make some more cracking overtakes.