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Max Verstappen: 10 things you probably didn't know about the F1 world champion

Max Verstappen: 10 things you probably didn't know about the F1 world champion

Max Verstappen: 10 things you probably didn't know about the F1 world champion

Max Verstappen: 10 things you probably didn't know about the F1 world champion

Dive into the lesser-known facts about Max Verstappen, from childhood karting to virtual racing victories and FIFA skills.

We already know Max Verstappen as the world champion, the record-breaker, and the fearless competitor with a blistering pace. But how many of us know about his childhood karting days, his secret pre-race rituals, or his virtual racing prowess?

Dive deeper with us into 10 surprising facts about the reigning champion that will give you a fresh perspective on the Dutchman.

READ MORE: Every F1 World Champion: The full list from Andretti to three-time king Verstappen

10 interesting facts about Max Verstappen

1. He started racing at four: Max's journey began at the tender age of four, when his father, Jos Verstappen, introduced him to the world of go-karts. By seven, he was already a competitor, and the rest, as they say, is history.

2. He tried to bribe his driving instructor: An eager 17-year-old Max, still lacking a driving licence, tried to bribe his driving instructor with caps and T-shirts! Needless to say, it didn't work, and now F1 requires drivers to be at least 18.

3. His father was the most successful Dutch driver: Racing runs in the Verstappen blood. Max's father, Jos Verstappen, may not have reached championship heights, but he was the most successful Dutch F1 driver with two podium finishes and 17 points - until Max stepped foot in the sport!

4. Racing genes from mom, too: It's not just Max's father who knows the thrill of the racetrack. His mother, Sophie Kumpen, was also a successful karting and racing driver, even competing against Jenson Button, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

5. He gave his father nosebleed: Max's maiden F1 victory in Spain wasn't just a personal triumph; it was a nail-biter for his father, Jos. The pressure and excitement were so intense that he actually developed a nosebleed!

6. Esports ace: Max isn't just fast on real tracks; he's a force to be reckoned with in the virtual world too. He often competes in official Formula 1 game and iRacing, even recently winning the virtual 24 Hours of Daytona.

7. Pre-race rituals: While some drivers channel their focus into meditation or data analysis, Max chills out with video games. His former teammate, Alex Albon, said he's seen Max playing FIFA or Call of Duty just before sessions!

8. A world-class FIFA gamer: But Max isn't just a casual gamer. He's actually climbed the FIFA Ultimate Team ranks, reaching 31st in the world in 2018, and 21st in the world in 2019.

9. He holds double nationality: While Max proudly represents the Netherlands on the F1 scene, his heritage is a bit more nuanced. Born in Hasselt, Belgium, to a Belgian mother, Max holds dual Dutch and Belgian citizenship.

10. A man of many languages: Verstappen's fluency in Dutch is unsurprising, but his linguistic skills extend far beyond his native tongue. He speaks English and German fluently, and he even knows some French.

READ MORE: Who is Naomi Schiff? The trailblazer and Sky Sports F1 pundit

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