There is no disputing Max Verstappen’s outstanding talent, but the 23-year-old’s growing maturity and “home boy” lifestyle are also important components of the Red Bull driver’s success according to his friend David Coulthard.
With each passing season, Verstappen has honed his skills but also grown his maturity, a personal development that has progressively transformed the once hot-head young charger into a refined and disciplined racer.
Verstappen’s dominant win in Monaco propelled the Dutchman to the top of the world championship drivers’ standings for the first time in his seven-year career in F1.
Whether he will remain there and ahead of arch-rival Lewis Hamilton will likely depend on Red Bull’s ability to sustain the performance level of its RB16B against Mercedes’ 2021 contender.
But Coulthard is not only impressed with the Red Bull driver’s maturity, he’s also noted the clear contrast that exists between Verstappen and Hamilton’s respective lifestyles.
“I think it’s quite impressive [Max’s maturity], especially when you consider that he mentions his first race at the age of 18,” the former F1 driver told RacingNews365’s Dieter Rencken.
“Max is only 23 years old and has all the ingredients to be very successful.
“Max is a real home boy. He goes back to Monaco [after a race] and he really wants to be home. That’s an important element that allows him to recharge himself.
“With Lewis, you never know where he is between races. Is he in Los Angeles or somewhere else?
“That works for him, but he doesn’t have the inner peace to call anything his home. With Max, this is definitely going to add a few years to his career.”
As a fellow Monaco resident, Coulthard often sees Verstappen in the Principality and frequently hooks a ride to a race venue on the Dutchman’s plane along with his entourage that mainly consists of his father Jos and personal manager Raymond Vermeulen.
The Scot therefore has a clear insight into world championship leader’s “healthy” lifestyle.
“I’m 50 years old, luckily [the partying] that’s behind me,” commented the Channel 4 pundit. “It’s mostly social.
“We have a drink together, socialise, dine together and I often fly to the races with him.
“I’m not claiming deep, spiritual friendship or anything like that. I feel good in his company and Max in mine. I’ve never been kicked off his plane.
“We fly together when it suits us, together with some other guests from Max’s circle of friends. That makes travelling a lot more enjoyable and also more business-interesting.
“Not all drivers do it this way. They have their own planes and plenty of luxury but keep that to themselves. I think Max is in a good, healthy way in life.”
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