Fortunately, Formula 1 is safer than ever, but the risk of serious injury or worse is still there. Nevertheless, Max Verstappen is absolutely not guided by thoughts of the possible consequences of a crash. He’s just more silent than before.
Max Verstappen himself has had a number of serious crashes in his racing career. Think, for example, of the blow at Silverstone in 2021, when he went out of the corner after a tap from Lewis Hamilton and slammed into the wall. It never really got to the point that Verstappen’s life was in danger and he says he doesn’t think much about it himself. At least, especially not in the past for Formula 1. “I know how I was when I drove Formula 3. There was no fear,” he says in an interview with Formule 1 Magazine. As he got older, Verstappen started to think about it more, although he still has no fear. “I do think more about the possible consequences of my actions. What could happen if…”
It is precisely in the step-up classes to Formula 1 that things have gone completely wrong recently. In 2019 in Formula 2 with the fatal crash of Anthoine Hubert and recently with the Dutchman Dilano van ‘t Hoff in Formula 3. Especially that last accident came to mind for Verstappen. Then he also received a special reaction to a message he had posted after the accident: “I saw that Dilano’s sister had commented under my post: ‘Max, you were his great example. Thank you for this message.’ That reaction did something to me.” According to Verstappen, he also had a ‘what if’ thought at the time. “Then I immediately think of my family.” Yet it is not the case that it is discussed in the Verstappen house. According to the 25-year-old driver, girlfriend Kelly Piquet also knows very well what the risks are.