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He doesn’t like to acknowledge how important part of this that Max Verstappen has. Today at the opening Brazilian Grand Prix, Suzuka, he couldn’t help but take a moment to call an animated selfie with actor Henry Cavill with his Instagram account.
The same Max Verstappen that raced the gravel – he outran rivals Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo and outran Nick Heidfeld – is everywhere today — on boards, on social media and in his emotions.
Winning such races as yesterday’s even while tires were damaged, isn’t easy and this “what is there to worry about?” kid still has work to do.
He led after finishing fifth at the Sepang Grand Prix but the team are still improving.
Sunday he is focused on Ferrari as Hamilton and Ricciardo both were ahead of him on the grid, pulling away.
But Verstappen has seen worse, and insists he can accomplish what the opposition.
“I think Nico (Rosberg) played the same thing as we have right now, that each race it is more difficult,” Verstappen said. “Every season is more difficult, so I think we have to watch each race differently.”
Plus there was yesterday’s see-sawing battle.
“Yeah, it was a great battle out there,” he said. “There was a couple of new strategies there that everybody was trying. It was good, good fun, good fun at the end.”
Bring on the Vettel – or the F1 tale of Germany.
There’s a new chapter coming and one that could shake the sport more than the Three Chimneys was able to do in 1970.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will also switch from a Williams to Ferrari and was listed fifth fastest in today’s practice.
Meanwhile at least for the upcoming season the drama will be on side-by-side again between Hamilton and Verstappen.
It’s an old rivalry, it’s pretty fun to watch, it will be great to hear both involved with the press.
But no one will benefit more than Verstappen.
“Yeah, in a way, it would be – you know – nice, for sure,” he said of a possible rivalry with the German, who won at Suzuka last year to down Ross Brawn’s team in the constructors’ championship.
“If it were that you feel more confident and you know you can race the best, that’s a good feeling.”
Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly has returned to the grid after missing the Chinese Grand Prix with an unspecified illness and is joined by reserve driver Brendon Hartley for today’s first practice.
Hartley would have made his F1 debut at least 15-20 races ago had not he committed suicide at 21 after quitting the sport.
Is this the beginning of the Gasly-Hartley partnership at Toro Rosso?
The pair were compared favourably in pre-season testing in Spain, where Gasly drove to top time at many sectors and Hartley consistently came in towards the back.