Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace
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Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

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Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

The Zoom ID suddenly changes. There’s to be no doubt whose time and attention is coming Autosport’s way. A few minutes past the agreed start point – this is a Formula 1 driver’s time and attention, after all – the camera comes back on. It’s still Red Bull’s press attache in view, but then our perspective turns.

Here’s Max Verstappen. He’s sitting in the spartanly decorated room that will be his driver’s quarters over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend – over his shoulder, halfway through our chat, his father Jos will appear through the door and peer intently at the screen into which his son is communicating. Media engagements are part of the motorsport game, but this one feels palpably different. Throughout, there’s a sense of mixed excitement, potential, even destiny – appropriate given Verstappen’s rapid career rise, even if the term is a touch cliched.

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