Forget Rosberg vs Hamilton, 2016 Is Verstappen's Year


The 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix could’ve given us a World Champion. But, it didn’t. However, what it did offer us was a young prodigy delivering a drive worthy of a World Champion in challenging racing conditions. And talent is the last thing that Max Verstappen needs to prove to Formula 1. (Max Verstappen – Talent Of The Century)

The irony of the race was that a bad pit stop call for Max Verstappen actually turned out to be good for the sport. The young Dutchman’s drive from P14 to P3 was classic in which he introduced to the world a new racing line through the famous Senna S sequence of corners – which we’ve dubbed as ‘The Verstappen’ in this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast. However, could the 19-year old have won the race had Red Bull Racing’s tyre gamble worked out? There’s a high chance he could have. (The FIA Bans ‘The Verstappen’)

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And how can one forget the ‘save of the season’ by the ‘talent of the century’ in a race where he was rightfully voted as the ‘driver of the race’ for delivering the ‘drive of the race’. Irrespective of who wins the Drivers’ Championship in Abu Dhabi, the 2016 Formula 1 Season will be remembered for Max Verstappen. (Thank God For Max Verstappen)

Lewis Hamilton’s first-ever (and easy) win in the land of Ayrton Senna means that Bernie Ecclestone and the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi would be happy to see the title fight go down to the very last race of the reason. Hamilton has learned well from Serena Williams on how to save a ‘match point’. Nico Rosberg, who at the moment seems Formula 1’s luckiest and most relaxed driver, held everything together to ensure that stood on the second highest step of the podium and limited damage to his title. This business of finishing second seems scarier and riskier from the outside, we admit. (Hamilton & Verstappen, Formula 1’s Dream Team?)

We don’t usually applaud the FIA for their act, but for the Brazilian Grand Prix, they deserve special credit. They made the right calls during the entire four hour duration of the race to deliver a Grand Prix that went the full distance. A race shorter than 75%  of the actual distance would’ve only made it easier for Rosberg in Abu Dhabi. (How They FIA Ensured No Shoey On The Podium)

Finally in this week’s episode, we speak about Fernando Alonso’s short-lived career of a track-side camera man, Sergio Perez’s gutsy drive and even more gutsy sacking of a sponsor via Twitter, Felipe Massa’s heartwarming farewell and how all Pirelli compounds, wet or dry, aren’t best suited for Formula 1! And yes, Jenson seems to have Button-ed himself off!

Tune in!

(Season 2016, Episode 38)

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Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

4 comments On Forget Rosberg vs Hamilton, 2016 Is Verstappen's Year

  • MAXTERCLASS! and thank you for an entertaining podcast again.

  • Dear Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah,
    Did you see/hear the latest F1 Report from Sky Sports in which Natalie Pinkham is joined by RaceCar Engineering magazine’s Sam Collins and Marc Priestley to discuss the action packed Brazilian GP?
    I just wonder what you make of this provocative guest Collins.

    • if you “read between the lines” you see he is a massive Lewis fan. I think he knows Max will be a threat to Lewis in the future and that is the reason why he says the things he said about Verstappen at least that’s my theory.

      • Yes, I do agree with your observation. But reading between the lines there is even a little more to it I think. Herewith I enclose my first, rather abusive, reaction followed by a secondary reaction in a polite and more insulting tone:

        F1 2016 Max Verstappen’s Wonder Drive, Skill or Luck
        This blockhead Collins is clearly a Hamilton fan. Why? because firstly he thinks that Max Verstappen does not know what he is doing, secondly because he called Hamilton the real rain-master (who had an easy drive from the front compared to Max who clawed his way back from 16th to 3rd), thirdly because he thinks Vettel is correct in all his criticism about Max and still the better driver and finally because he calls Verstappens car-control just luck added by a little skill. Well mister Collins the only luck that Max Verstappen has is that he is enormously skillful, gifted with an abundance of racing intelligence and able to handle pressure far better than all your heroes. Just stick around and you will grit your teeth many more times in the future.

        I have to apologize for using the word ‘blockhead’ to misname Sam Collins. That was inappropriate. I am sorry. It will not happen again. Reviewing this episode of the F1 report I came to the conclusion that Collins’ behavior was far worse. The proper typification for Collins is Provocateur (french). From the moment his first grin was visible one could see that he was reveling in the role of a ‘party spoiler’ and everything that followed this was proofing his outset to reverse all that was said into his own frustative glory. In the end he was very lucky that Lewis Hamilton was able to qualify in dry conditions. Because if that had not been the case Collins was forced to call someone else the rain-master ‘on the top-step of the podium’. But that would have been just luck, of course.

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