Day done, round done, season done. Max Verstappen may have lost the runner-up spot in the final round of the FIA European F3 championship to Tom Blomqvist, but his band of Dutch supporters celebrated regardless.
With only the Macau Grand Prix left on the Dutch driver’s F3 register, the 17-year-old Verstappen will soon have graduated from this level and proceed to a Formula One drive with Red Bull’s smaller sibling, Toro Rosso.
Mind you, despite the wailing from select portions of the sidelines, Verstappen has enjoyed plenty of Formula One experience already. Numerous simulations led to runs in a two-year-old STR machine, before ‘The Son of Jos The Boss’ debuted during Free Practice One at the Japanese Grand Prix a month ago.
Verstappen impressed then and with further mileage under his belt has impressed repeatedly ever since.
In terms of driving a Formula One machine, Verstappen is absolute natural, although his occasional cut-and-thrust nature does mean that he can appear somewhat rough around the edges when dealing with some of the media.
But like everything, that will come easier with time and experience, but only as long as he is allowed to grow and mature in a reasonable manner.
For now though, many of Verstappen’s faithful probably saw him compete up close for the last time in a long time at Hockenheim recently. Those bearing Max flags and paraphernalia will miss this, but hopefully, they will also continue to support him onward.