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Verstappen 100 not out at Red Bull

Verstappen 100 not out at Red Bull

F1 News

Verstappen 100 not out at Red Bull

Verstappen 100 not out at Red Bull

Max Verstappen will start his 100th grand prix with Red Bull this weekend as the Dutchman looks to close the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship standings.

Verstappen made his Red Bull debut at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, a race famous for a lap one collision between Mercedes team-mates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and also because the Dutchman took advantage of the situation to stand atop the podium in Red Bull colours at the first time of asking.

"Getting to 100 races with Red Bull has gone so quickly to be honest, I didn’t know it had been that many!" he said. "I must be getting old!

"I enjoy being part of the team for as long as I have. The atmosphere in the whole team is great and there is a lot of motivation and energy here from everyone."

When the lights go out to mark the start of the Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen will draw level with Daniel Ricciardo for the third most starts of any Red Bull driver, with only Sebastian Vettel [113] and Mark Webber [129] ahead.

Verstappen's promotion from Toro Rosso came just 23 races into his F1 career, the Spanish event the fifth on the 2016 calendar, and the usually unflappable driver revealed his success left him close to tears on the podium.

Ahead of F1's visit to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, he explained: "Barcelona will always hold special memories for me. Your first F1 win is pretty emotional, especially when it is a bit of a shock to everyone as it was my debut for the team.

"I don’t really get emotional that often but I was pretty close to tears that day and so was my Dad. Everything flashes through your head of how you got to Formula One.

"It wasn’t all easy and people think that when you are winning it looks pretty easy but you have to do the hard work to get there.

"Like all young drivers we spent a lot of time away from home, driving around Europe and working as hard as possible. Of course, I had a big help from my Dad who prepared me very well but there is no guarantee you will make it to Formula One but as a family that was always the goal.

"Suddenly, after the win, it all flashes through your head and it was an incredible day. I’ve said it many times, my first win was a shock, nobody expected it, so it will be a day I will never forget. I’m very grateful to everyone who worked with me and got to that point at such a young age."

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