Apertures: Max Verstappen’s Arrival

Apertures: Max Verstappen’s Arrival

Written and captured by Richard Kelley

I was lucky to spend quality time with Max Verstappen and the Van Amersfoort Team at the 2014 Macau Grand Prix, with the 17-year-old Dutchman already assured of his 2015 F1 seat with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Max was clear on the challenge from the start. His focus was to stay cool and clean and try to collect the wonderful Macau trophy to sit beside his Zandvoort 'Masters of Formula 3' title that he captured earlier in the season.

© Richard Kelley

“We'll be running a lot less wing which means a lot less downforce. In addition we'll be driving on Yokohama tires instead of the Hankooks used in the European championship. So, the set-up of the car will change dramatically from what I have ran in the past.”

© Richard Kelley

All bets seemed off after the fourth lap in the Qualifying race. Verstappen locked a rear brake in the Solitude Esses, throwing him an inch wide of the apex and into the wall. The Dutchman’s front-left suspension was left dangling and he sustained a rear-left puncture. He retired in the pit lane.

Nonetheless, Max started the feature race 24th, now focused for “Maximum Attack”. Despite car floor damage and an oil leak, Max’s pace vaulted him past teammate Menezes, then Yamashita into Lisboa corner and Ferrucci before the flag dropped. Max finished seventh.

© Richard Kelley

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