1. How many times have you done that famous last lap in Abu Dhabi in your head?
Not so often. Of course, I looked at the pictures, but then I was on vacation and I didn’t talk much about Formula 1. At the end of this long season, I only felt one thing: fatigue.
2. Your last lap from your point of view?
I suddenly had right calf cramps. But in a moment like this, you forget everything. It was the moment I had worked for all my life. My dad and I have always dreamed of it. But I hope this is just the start.
3. Sébastien Ogier said at the start of his career: « I’d rather be world champion once against Sébastien Loeb than three times without him. » Is it just as important for you to have beaten Lewis Hamilton in a direct duel at the height of his career?
No, that’s not how I see it. The goal is always to win the world championship! For this you have to defeat so many good pilots, each for himself. It’s not just about beating Lewis.
4. Your relationship with Lewis Hamilton today?
We’ve had our battles, but there’s also a lot of respect. He is one of the greatest pilots of all time.
5. Michael Schumacher, a close friend of your father, was like an uncle to you when you were a kid. What did you feel ?
There are many good memories. We went on vacation together, to France in the summer, but also in the winter. Looking back, it’s something very beautiful and very special, although of course I didn’t really know who I was playing with at the time.
6. Who do you think is the greatest F1 driver of all time? And the greatest athlete?
I always find it difficult to answer a question like that, there have been so many great drivers in Formula 1. And when it comes to athletes as a whole, for me it’s even more true: I don’t have no idea.
7. How would you explain Formula 1 to a Martian who suddenly appeared on Earth?
First of all, I hope we have the same language, that’s the most important, otherwise nothing works (laughs).
8. But how would you explain your sport to him?
In any case, I would explain the coolest moments in Formula 1 like this: being fast in a straight line, being good on the brakes and of course also feeling the centrifugal forces that are at work in the curves.
9. You ride with number 1 – Lewis Hamilton never made use of this privilege: why are you changing your number 33?
It’s quite easy. Number 1 is the most beautiful number in Formula 1, and you don’t get the chance to wear it for many seasons. So it’s natural for me to take it. My previous number, 33, wasn’t originally my favorite number either, it would have been 3. But Daniel Ricciardo already had it when I got to Formula 1.
10. You are the first Formula 1 world champion to have lived a childhood in this new millennium. Which car was the first that influenced you?
The first thing I remember is the Arrows my father raced in Formula 1 in the early 2000s. It was an orange racing car – a beautiful car!
11. How many cars are there in your garage?
Editor’s note: We know that he really appreciates his Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which he recently used on a circuit in Portugal. He was also spotted with an Aston Martin DB11, a Ferrari 488 Pista and a Honda NSX.
12. You were the first person to sign a Formula 1 driver’s contract without having a driving license. What did you feel ?
Of course I was nervous about my test in F1 because I only had one chance. After that it was successful and I didn’t come home for two months because I really wanted to get my driver’s license. There was a lot of pressure! The driving instructor was strict and of course treated me like everyone else. But it worked.
13. Which traffic rule would you remove?
Any. I think it’s okay. I don’t drive much anyway, and of course I understand there is a limit on normal roads. For me everything fits. It’s good like this.
14. How much money do you have on you?
Not a lot. Sometimes I don’t have any cash on me, not a penny. Only the credit card is still with me.
15. Do you prefer to invest in stocks or cryptocurrencies?
No crypto yet!
16. What was your first win?
It was very early in karting, maybe 100 euros. Or 200. But it could also have been something like a set of tires.
17. How did you get rewarded for the title? A gift ?
In fact nothing at all. First I wasn’t home for a few weeks, then I went back to the simulator like I always do. I trained but didn’t buy anything.
18. How do you sleep after a run?
Sometimes good, sometimes not. Of course, it also depends on the result. But generally pretty good.
19. Do you sometimes cook yourself?
20. How do you center yourself when you’re not in a good mood?
So I do something completely different. For example, I fly on my simulator. Or I talk to my friends or my family.
21. Do you have a favorite series on TV?
Currently none. Earlier in my childhood, a different one every year. Nothing that marked me for life.
22. You are also said to be a world class FIFA (video game) player. You were a priori the n°21 of the world ranking in January 2019. Can you confirm that it was your nickname?
Things are going pretty well on FIFA. I’m not a pro, but it’s fun.
23. How would you rate yourself?
Good. Not bad. Good, yes: good!
24. What is your favorite activity in your free time?
My favorite hobby is my simulator.
25. We guess your life will be filmed one day – just like your epic duel against Lewis Hamilton in 2021. Who should you play?
First of all, I hope this never happens. I don’t need this! But if you do now, Leonardo DiCaprio could play me. I have often been told of a resemblance between us. That would be great.
26. School was never your thing…
I didn’t like it at all, not a single area.
27. You are nevertheless gifted with languages: Dutch, German and English, but also a little Italian, French and Portuguese. What language would you still like to learn?
28. Your favorite app?
29. Any other questions Journalist Verstappen would ask World Champion Verstappen?
No, I think it fits and enough has been said.
30. Okay, but then one more question about two of your most important mentors – Helmut Marko and Franz Tost. What do you think of them?
The year with Franz as team principal at Toro Rosso was a great year. Franz has a lot of Formula 1 experience, we talked a lot at every race – and that’s still the case, even though I’m in a different team now, we’re in touch.
31. And Helmut Marko?
And with Helmut offering me my first contract in Formula 1, I experienced a lot of cool things – and I want it to stay that way for many years.
32. Max, your lessons from the 2021 season for real life?
That you have to persevere and believe in your luck until the last lap.
33. A last word?
Good season to all !