David Croft Writes for Silverstone

Do you remember when you turned 19?

For some of us that’s a lot easier to answer than for others. I vaguely remember waking up with something of a furry head the day I turned 19, and I certainly remember a brilliant day of celebrations with my family.

Whatever you did, or are intending to do when you turn 19, I hope that’s it’s truly epic.

I dare say though that when we do reach that milestone, none of us will be able to claim that we are the youngest man to win a Grand Prix, appear on an F1 podium, score points and even qualify on the front row. But hey, we’re not Max Verstappen, are we? And when he reaches his 18th birthday at the end of September, I guess he’s earnt the right to some mighty celebrations. Chances are though, he’ll have a quiet one with his family and quickly he’ll be back focusing on the next race.

If there’s one thing about Max Verstappen, it’s that he’s focused. And talented, that makes two, so I’ll chuck in single minded as well and as a 4th, he’s pretty important to Formula 1 right now. You only had to be at Spa last weekend to witness the impact that this young man is having on his sport. The crowds were up even before he put his Red Bull on the front row, and according to some reports, another 5,000 tickets were sold off the back of his qualifying effort. The banks and grandstands around the circuit, normally housing a plentiful supply of British pilgrims, were suddenly a sea of orange. A Dutch invasion had made it’s way over the border to cheer on their new hero. A hero that was actually born in Belgium, travels with a Belgian passport, but who considers himself to be Dutch and who’s to argue with that, certainly not me.

As my mate Dave put it, “Normally it’s 50% Brits here, today the fans are all supporting some bloke called Max!”

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