F1 photographer reveals Max Verstappen interaction that helped Red Bull star go faster

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen in Qatar Grand Prix qualifying.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on his way to Qatar Grand Prix pole.

An experienced F1 race photographer says his advice from watching trackside has helped Max Verstappen find more pace on track.

Max Verstappen doesn’t need much help to discover the quickest way to get an F1 car around any given race track, but a photographer has claimed his advice has come in handy in the past.

Experienced photographer Frits van Eldik, a friend of both Max and father Jos, has explained that the unique perspective of standing trackside can allow photographers to make observations that TV cameras and telemetry might not necessarily see.

How watching Max Verstappen’s teammate proved useful

Building relationships with F1 drivers through their photography work, F1 photographers can be in an unusual position of using the naked eye up close to observe how different cars and drivers negotiate each corner.

“I think the most important thing is that you are taken seriously in the world, also in terms of information provision,” Van Eldik told the DRS Race Show, as quoted by Dutch publication F1 Maximaal.

“If I see something that I think matters, I will always pass it on to a driver, at least if I like them! You only have to sell nonsense once and then no one will take you seriously anymore.”

Van Eldik explained how, once, he’d spotted how Verstappen’s teammate – he didn’t say which one – was taking a corner differently from the young Dutchman. He passed the observation on to Max, who promptly adjusted and was able to find more speed.

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“You have to make sure you always come up with the right things and say ‘Pay attention to this or pay attention to that,” Van Eldik explained.

“I even had it with Max early in his career where I said ‘I see off the track that your teammate is doing this, and you are doing that. I don’t know what the difference is.’

“Then, a day later, he was super fast, and then he walked by with a picture – because I had pictures of that corner – and then he said: ‘See? Is it okay now?’

“That’s just funny, but I just want to be taken seriously as a photographer, but also as a person and as an expert on the game.”

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