‘This was Verstappen’s best win so far…it had everything’

Date published: October 29 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Max Verstappen on the podium at the United States GP. Austin October 2021.

Former racing driver and current pundit Allard Kalff feels that Max Verstappen’s victory at the United States Grand Prix was the best of his career to date.

The Dutchman claimed a huge victory at the Circuit of The Americas to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the championship to 12 points, and it took quite the effort.

Due to the fact that he made both of his pit stops later, Hamilton had much fresher tyres in the closing stages and was rapidly catching him, but the Red Bull man just about managed to hold him off, finding some more pace when it mattered.

It was the 18th win of his career, and Kalff thinks that it was the best of them.

“After the race I sent Jos [Verstappen] a message in which I wrote that this was the best win so far. It had everything,” he told Will Buxton on Motorsport.tv.

“The start was not good, [but] he was aggressive in strategy, brilliant under pressure. He made no mistake. For me, this was his best race, and he won.

“His best win so far as I’m concerned.”

This has arguably been Verstappen’s best season yet on the whole in terms of performances, with him making precious few mistakes.

The same couldn’t be said about him in the past, with the 24-year-old once somewhat renowned for being too aggressive and crashing as a result in his younger years.

Kalff doesn’t think his driving ability has improved though but instead feels he has simply matured a little with age and, importantly, knows when not to go for moves.

“I don’t know if he has grown much. We just see it a lot more now,” he said.

“You could say he is a bit more mature, especially compared to his first year at Toro Rosso or Red Bull. He now knows better when to go for it and when to accept second place. That was always there, but we have not always seen it.

“His overtakes were so spectacular, always attacking. We didn’t know what else he had up his sleeve, and that’s a lot. How he positions himself after a start, when to attack, when to defend… Always spot on.

“He may have matured by two or three percent.”

 

He says the same thing happened with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna too, allowing them to prove themselves and perform better as a result.

“You saw that with Lewis, with Ayrton: there is a point where they know that they no longer have to prove themselves. Then they become a better driver,” Kalff added.

“That was also the case with Ayrton, with Michael Schumacher, even with Sebastian Vettel . Once they realize they don’t have to prove they’re a fast F1 driver, they’ll get another ten per cent better.

“Then they really become champion material.”