What a difference a fortnight makes. At the Spanish GP two weeks ago, the world of Formula One was shocked and awed as the eighteen-year-old defied the odds and held off a hungry Kimi Raikkonen to win at the Circuit de Catalunya.
There was a new kid on the block, one who filled the back-pages and had the paddock star-struck. Max Verstappen had been elevated to Formula One legend status after 66 laps in a Red Bull. Some professional pundits called it “Senna-esque”, others, sung his praises but rightly held their tongues in the ever changing landscape that is Formula one.
But, as the Monaco GP has proven, the premature press reaction has backfired. Max Verstappen crashed out in Practice 3 and had several hairy moments in Qualifying, in which he crashed out again.
Race day saw him start from the back. He made great progress, but tricky conditions caught the youngster out, and his inexperience did show at Monaco, as a lock-up on his Ultra-soft tyres caused him to creep off of the dry racing line. He was a passenger the moment he hit the puddles on the outside.
Whilst other drivers like Force India’s Sergio Perez drove an incredible race to third place, the media eye remained on Max Verstappen. The very eye that over-praised his win in Spain, were there after Monaco to question why their chosen one hadn’t been impeccable two weeks later.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) May 29, 2016
Ultimately, the teenage anomaly will bounce back, and will have to put this weekend behind him. He is cool-headed and hasn’t let the inflated image and buzz of the press get to him.
Verstappen and him teammate, Daniel Ricciardo will be hoping to bounce back in Montreal next time out, a track that does suit the Red Bull. Bad news though, the long straights will benefit Mercedes even more, although if the silver arrows start on the front row together, things might get too close for comfort again…