Graham Watson, who worked with Max Verstappen
in his first season in F1
, asserted Verstappen is a nice guy but not on track.
Max Verstappen started his career in F1 at only 17 years old with Toro Rosso (known today as AlphaTauri
). As Franz Tost
(former team principal) recalled, it was already clear that he would be a World Champion back then
In his second season in F1, the Dutchman progressed to Red Bull
, where he scored his first win right away and, in a couple of seasons, became the triple World Champion as we know him today.
His former team manager said it felt special to be part of Verstappen's journey, but he had no doubt he would end up where he is now even if he started in the worst team on the grid (HRT or Caterham). He explained to formule1.nl
"The nice thing is: it all started with us. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic that Max’s F1 career has taken off with us. But if he had started at HRT or Caterham, he would also have ended up with the best team and in the best car."
The team principal of Red Bull Racing mentioned in one of his recent interviews he has never come across a driver with the level of motivation and dedication that Dutchman has. Watson also highlighted his strengths:
"Because Max has dedication, self-confidence and shows no mercy: everything you’ll need to become a world champion. Max is a nice guy, but not on the track."
AlphaTauri's team manager recalled how one of his mechanics asserted they played an important role in the triple World Champions' success after his first race win.
"After Max’s first GP victory in Barcelona, an engineer of ours said that we should be proud of it, because we contributed a little to it."
However, Watson did not feel the same way. Toro Rosso allowed the Dutchman to progress to Red Bull faster than any other team could, but he believes his success was inevitable.
"I said, ‘are you serious? Are you dreaming?’ Because whether Max had been with us, or somewhere else, he would have ended up winning races anyway. It just came a little earlier than expected."