"He was such a wonderful family man" - Max Verstappen pays tribute to Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher (left) and Max Verstappen (right) (Images sourced from their official Instagram profiles)
Michael Schumacher (left) and Max Verstappen (right) (Images sourced from their official Instagram profiles)
Aditya Talpade

Max Verstappen paid tribute to legendary F1 driver Michael Schumacher on the latter's 53rd birthday. The first-time world champion reminisced on his time with Schumacher, who was like a father figure to the Dutchman.

🎙Max: "O zamanlar üç ya da dört yaşındaydım. Tek bildiğim şey [onun] Michael Amca olduğuydu. Çok nazikti. Son derece harika bir aile babasıydı. Onu hiç rekorlar kıran dünya şampiyonu olarak görmedim, çünkü bunun farkında değildim!"#Formula1 #F1

Max Verstappen and Michael Schumacher share a relationship that goes beyond F1, with Verstappen's father being the German's teammate in the '90s. The two families have reportedly gone on holiday together multiple times during the same period. Due to this, Verstappen claims he does not see Michael Schumacher as a multi-time world champion, rather addressing him as 'uncle'.

As per a tweet by Turkey, the 24-year-old was quoted speaking about Schumacher, as:

“I was three or four years old at the time. All I knew was that [he] was Uncle Michael. He was very kind. He was such a wonderful family man. I never saw him as a world record-breaking champion because I didn’t realize it!”

Former F1 driver and Michael Schumacher's contemporary David Coulthard has claimed that Verstappen reminds him of the Ferrari legend due to their divisive natures.

Speaking to Channel 4, he said:

“He’s an exceptional human, an exceptional athlete. He’s brilliant and divisive. Who else do we know that’s brilliant and divisive? Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, to name but a few. So some have been able to do it."

Max Verstappen breaks long-standing Michael Schumacher podium record

Max Verstappen broke the long-standing Michael Schumacher record for the highest number of podiums in one season — with 18 podiums in 22 races. The record previously held by the German — with 17 podiums in a season — has been equaled by multiple drivers over the years. It was, however, finally broken at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021.

Although the record has been broken by the Dutchman, the legendary Ferrari driver scored a perfect 17 podiums in 17 races in the 2002 season, giving him a 100% record. In comparison, the Dutchman's success rate stands at 81.8%, with Schumacher still holding bragging rights over the first-time winner.

Max Verstappen has 31 podiums in his last 33 finishes.27 of them were in the top 2.All whilst fighting the W10, W11 and W12.

Max Verstappen denied Lewis Hamilton an eighth title victory on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, going on to win the Dutchman's maiden title. Hamilton would have bested Schumacher by being the first driver to win more than seven titles in the sport. The Briton was, however, controversially denied by the safety car restart that many drivers have called "strange."

Verstappen is set to return with Red Bull in 2022, where he will try to break more F1 records alongside Sergio Perez.

Edited by Anurag C


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