Verstappen Reveals Secrets to Mastering Defense & Attack in Racing

Max Verstappen attributes his exceptional racecraft, particularly his ability to attack and defend on the track, to the karting sessions with friends during holidays in his youth, where he practiced overtaking from various positions.


‣ Max Verstappen attributes his exceptional racecraft, particularly his ability to attack and defend on the track, to the karting sessions he had with friends during holidays.

‣ Verstappen emphasizes the importance of starting from different positions in these mini-tournaments to practice overtaking and learning to surprise opponents, which has significantly contributed to his skills.

‣ He acknowledges that while much of racing is based on instinct, specific skills such as identifying overtaking opportunities and exploiting opponents’ weaknesses can be learned and applied even in the advanced context of Formula 1.

‣ Despite the complexities of Formula 1, including managing downforce loss, overheating, and battery usage, Verstappen believes that the fundamental principles learned in karting remain applicable and valuable at the highest levels of motorsport.

Chatting with M4sport, Max Verstappen spilled the beans on the roots of his racing prowess. It turns out, those laid-back karting sessions with his pals during the holidays played a huge part. Who would’ve thought, right?

Verstappen’s a wizard on the track, no doubt about it. The guy’s got moves, attacking and defending with a flair that’s all his own. Stick him at the front? Good luck getting by him. But it’s not just about leading the pack. Max shines when he’s slicing through the field, making his way up from the back. And he credits his knack for this to his younger days.

### How Verstappen honed his skills

So, how did he get so good? “Well,” Verstappen shared with the Hungarian outlet, “whenever my buddies and I threw together a mini-tournament during our breaks, that was my chance to sharpen those skills.” They mixed up their starting positions – first, second, third, or dead last – all in the name of mastering the art of the overtake. “It was all about catching the others off guard. Taught me heaps,” he admitted.

But here’s the kicker: “A lot of it’s instinctual,” Max added, “but there’s stuff you can definitely pick up on.” Like pinpointing the perfect moment to overtake or exploiting an opponent’s weak spot. Everyone’s got their Achilles’ heel, after all. And yes, while Formula 1 is a whole different beast with its technical complexities – think downforce dilemmas, overheating headaches, and battery management – the core principles remain the same.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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