How Verstappen's trials took him to a new level

How Verstappen's trials took him to a new level

Precious few drivers have ever ignited Formula 1's spark from their very first race like Max Verstappen. And as STUART CODLING explains, Red Bull's charger is all set for an electrifying 2018. Portraits ADRIAN MYERS

Until Max Verstappen bossed the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix, it had become increasingly - and bizarrely - fashionable in some corners of the Formula 1 paddock and internet fandom to write Max off as an over-rated, overly impetuous danger to himself and others, a wunderkind whose mojo was crumbling under the pressure of sustaining the expectations thrust on him by his rapid promotion to a top-line drive before the age of 20.

And, like all crank theories, this narrative gained momentum with each new event that appeared to confirm it - the start-line shunt at Singapore, for instance, when Max's Red Bull was collateral in a contact triggered by Sebastian Vettel, and yet Max was pilloried simply for being there.

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