Max Verstappen shares Michael Schumacher memories including ‘too dangerous’ situations

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Max Verstappen has shared his memories of ‘uncle’ Michael Schumacher who he spent time with growing up. The F1 world champion is the son of former racer Jos Verstappen, but also had another major influence during childhood in the form of the man whose titles total is bettered by nobody.

That remains the case because of Verstappen’s victory this year, as he fended off Lewis Hamilton to win the trophy for the first time.

Hamilton would have outstripped Schumacher’s record if he had managed to win his eighth title, but the German’s joint record remains safe for another year.

Fresh from thwarting the Briton, Verstappen has recalled all the social events and holidays his family used to share with the Schumachers while he was a young boy.

Any young racer would be over the moon to have such a distinguished champion as a major role model during their formative years.

But Verstappen says that is not how he remembers those times spent with the Schumacher family.

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He told F1 Insider he only saw it as one big family all together, as he spent time with Schumacher’s children Mick and Gina while the adults also enjoyed each others’ company.

“I was three or four years old at the time. I just knew this was Uncle Michael who was very nice. Who was an extremely big family man,” he said.

“But I never saw him as a record world champion, I wasn’t aware of that.

“You can see that in the old photos and videos that we have at home. Mick or Gina was always there. It was great. I still have positive memories of those weekends today.”

That’s not to say there was no racing involved on these shared trips, though.

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The 24-year-old also recalled occasions when the whole group went karting, and the parents had to quickly intervene when things would get out of hand while youngsters Max, Mick and Gina were at the wheel.

“We always went karting in two-seaters,” Verstappen added. “Michael with Mick or Gina, my father with me.

“But when it got too dangerous, the fathers quickly took over!”

When Verstappen Jnr entered F1 as a fresh-faced teenager, he helped bring an excitement for the sport in the Netherlands that had been missing since his father’s racing days.

And when he won the title last season, there was even more delight in his home country as he had become the first Dutch F1 champion.

It’s a story not dissimilar to Schumacher’s own effect on the sport’s popularity in his own country – until his arrival and success in F1, Germany had not exactly been a hotbed of excitement for the sport.

But these are different times, and Verstappen is not competing against the F1 legend – instead, he shares the grid with his son.

Verstappen knows he has several more years of experience than Mick and does not want to compare their career paths, especially as the young German has not yet had the chance to prove himself.

“It was different for Mick than it was for me. His father is the record world champion, with seven world championships. That’s a difficult starting position at first,” the Dutchman continued.

“Even during his karting days, there was always the press around him. In Formula 4, Formula 3 and Formula 2 the hype got even bigger.

“But he has a good environment, good people who take care of him.”

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