“Max – The Dutch Master”: Verstappen biography reviewed

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As only the second first-time Formula 1 world champion to be crowned over the last decade, it’s little surprise to see media interest in Max Verstappen reach an all-time high.

As F1’s hottest young property, ‘Max – The Dutch Master’ is not the first Max Verstappen biography to appear over the past few months. James Gray’s autumn offering provided a perfectly solid overview of Verstappen’s life and career prior to his title-winning season, whilst not having access to too many intimate sources.

In ‘Max – The Dutch Master’, author Andre Hoogeboom takes a different approach, writing unashamedly in Verstappen’s corner and covering his triumphant 2021 championship campaign. This isn’t one for the sceptics.

Eschewing a strictly chronological structure, key moments from Verstappen’s life and career are dropped in throughout. Hoogeboom does a fine job in covering the key incidents, pivotal moments, and getting behind-the-scenes – particularly for the early part of Verstappen’s career.

Unfortunately, Hoogeboom also comes up against the two big challenges of writing about Verstappen. First, he’s not the most fascinating subject; a young prodigy who is exceptionally talented but seems to be pleasant and well-rounded in his private life. “Crashed and Byrned” this is not.

Second, Verstappen is media-wary, fulfilling the core expectations with good grace but doing little more. The latter challenge is offset by Jos Verstappen providing some deep background, which seems to soften some of the karting anecdotes from Gray’s earlier book.

For the Verstappen fan there is much to enjoy in ‘Max’, with most contributors examining his immediately obvious special talent at length. There is no doubt that he was a generational talent in karting and Formula 3, and even less doubt after reading 100 pages of people telling you that.

As ever with Evro publications, ‘Max’ is well put-together with some great photos interspersed throughout (not dissimilar stylistically to Tom Kristensen’s ‘Mr Le Mans’) and Hoogeboom certainly knows and is passionate about his subject.

For a Verstappen fanatic, this will be high on the shopping list. There isn’t much to choose with the text itself between this and Gray’s effort, and if you’ve got one you probably don’t need the other. On one hand, Gray probed a bit deeper into some of the more difficult moments in Jos and Max’s father and son relationship, whilst Hoogeboom has the benefit of a more enticing layout, a title-winning season to include, and some great images.

In truth, the best book about Max Verstappen is probably 15 to 20 years away, but, for now, this is a perfectly fine addition to the bookshelf.

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RaceFans rating

Rating three out of five

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Author: Andre Hoogeboom
Publisher: Evro Publishing
Published: 2022
Pages: 320
Price: £25.00
ISBN: 978-1-910505-75-5

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Ben Evans
Motorsport commentator Ben is RaceFans' resident bookworm. Look out for his verdict on the latest motor racing publications on Sundays....

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  • 44 comments on ““Max – The Dutch Master”: Verstappen biography reviewed”

    1. Grabbing popcorn for the comment section.

      1. Better make it a BIG bucket.

        1. Keith should being back free refills

      2. There’s nothing in the article even remotely worth getting worked up about but my god, you wouldn’t know that from the comments

    2. I remember when you had to be a grown up to have a biography written.
      Lewis did the same after his 2008 championship year.
      What a nonsense.

      A book about a guy is one thing – it isn’t a biography.

      1. Agree.
        Not interested in the book; won’t read the article.
        But the comment section will make it a good Sunday ;)

      2. I recall Lewis had one after his rookie season!

    3. Max – The Belgium Human Error
      would be appropriate title.

      1. @unitedkingdomracing
        We clearly got a winner here.

      2. Get over it. Max won, Hamilton lost. Even if Hamilton pushed Max to the barriers in Silverstone. Time to move on although it seems that neither you nor Hamilton are yet ready to do so …

        1. nor Hamilton are yet ready to do so

          How does Hamilton come in?

        2. Give it a rest, will you? Just ignore it and move on.

        3. RandomMallard
          3rd April 2022, 14:31

          Of anyone, I think Hamilton has probably shown the most willingness to move on from Abu Dhabi.

        4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          3rd April 2022, 14:55

          @Ankita A couple of corrections – Max pushed himself to the barriers in Silverstone – not sure why but even Horner apparently expected Max to crash at Silverstone.

          Max didn’t win the championship. He had very much lost it when the FIA race director, a friend of Horner’s as he said 1st thing in his DTS interview, decided to hand it over to Max. I watched the episode the other day and it was insane. That race was a clinic by Lewis and Mercedes with Max getting a free lesson and a free championship.

          1. Still living in another dimension I see :)

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              3rd April 2022, 23:07

              It’s called the real world, erikje. You’re the minority who lives in alternate dimension. Apparently, everyone except Red Bull thought that the championship was stolen including the FIA.

          2. Noframingplease (@)
            3rd April 2022, 18:57

            @freelittlebirds Lewis deliberately crashed in Max back, instead of the breaktest. Does that sound logical for you. It’s the same level you talk about a person who lead more laps in front than any other. For you lewis fans it was only the last race you still talking about. That Max was the biggest part leading the WDC has no place in your brain. It becomes a bit hilarious here with British lewis glorifying. Never heard a German about their GoAT….

      3. well lewis’s ‘human error’ in baku lost him the title right there and then, but if wailing on about the “human error” champion helps you sleep at night then you do you i guess

    4. I don’t know if I’d recommend these sorts of books to fanatics. Surely it’ll just reinforce their beliefs. We should be challenging our beliefs so perhaps this one should be recommended for Lewis fanatics and vice versa for a Lewis biography!

    5. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      3rd April 2022, 13:02

      That title just makes me cringe

      1. I think it’s a bad translation which comes strongly to a native English speaker. Strangely the Dutch Title is:

        Max the first Dutch F1-World champion ever!

        How this is translated into the Dutch master???

    6. Going on his past comments and actions regarding DTS. I wonder how much input Verstappen had in this little money-making scheme? Probably little to none and this would not be worth wasting money trying to get an insight into Verstappen’s mindset or personal life.

      1. RandomMallard
        3rd April 2022, 14:33

        I mean to be fair, the cover makes it very clear that it’s unauthorised. But I agree, it won’t be particularly high on my shopping list in the near future.

      2. Well, personally biographies don’t really interested me.
        But having the subject of a biography involved had advantages and disadvantages:
        – advantage is that the author might get more insight
        – disadvantage is that the subject might steer the message
        Soi would say you would have to 2 biographies about a person: an authorized one or autobiography, and an unauthorized one to get a clear picture.
        I doubt if Max would authorize a biography though ..

    7. the paper tiger shampion lives up to it’s name…

    8. johnandtonic
      3rd April 2022, 14:26

      Wary of the media. No co-operation with this book or netflix. The Mary Whitehouse era / generation providing public moral criticism at every turn. Perhaps it is society that is driving our sports stars behind layers and layers of PR protection. We will ever see a real person again?

      1. No, because the ones who don’t cooperate with the mass media do so so that they can spin their own ‘exclusive’ version of reality for a lot more money. And then do the rounds of that same mass media they claim to be wary of to flog said version.

        1. Like Lewis!

          1. Like Lewis? Considering for over a decade to this day this forum and others have done nothing but non stop complaining about him dominating the media, I’m not sure what you are referring to. And I don’t see many in the media, inc F1 media, complaining that they can’t get access to Ham.
            Although there was that three month period where he went quiet, but the same people complained about that.

    9. I am delighted that Max has won his first WDC but I feel it is a tad premature to describe him as a Master.
      Unless of course the title is referring to another aspect of his life?

      1. It’s an unauthorized biography. I.e. just some guy completely unaffiliated with Max making a buck off his popularity.

    10. “Johannes – The Dutch Master”

      Vermeer would be a much better book.

    11. Excellent, was beginning to run short on toilet roll – a worthy substitute!

    12. Straight to landfill!!

    13. Will there be an audiobook release for Max’s benefit? I understand he struggles with the longer words ..

      1. Noframingplease (@)
        3rd April 2022, 19:01

        @jazz I would expect such a nice comment in the british daily mail. But…. Hey, Racefans is doing a nice job by framing Lewis opponents.

        1. Hamilton’s biography was released a while ago, you had your chance then. It’s our turn now ;)

          1. Not everybody wants to mock a driver or sportsman that is not their idol.
            Why do you feel the need for that or think every other person has such a need?
            Quite toxic…

            1. Because his comment was a reply to a particular poster, who does delight in mocking others?

    14. Let’s hope the author mentioned Michael Masi, without whose help Verstappen** wouldn’t require asterisks attached to his name.

      1. You mean the potential Hamilton 8th championship and mercedes constructor, all made in Bottas in Hungary ™

    15. Why is there not an article of late on Hamilton’s state of mind on Race Fans? I could speculate. He is having a tough time no doubt. I think he needs to leave Mercedes and join a team which is capable of challenging again. I don’t want to see his career end this way. He is a great driver who suffered a lack of competition for years which was out of his control. I would like to see him challenge and win on merit again. He needs another shot to save grace and no I do not expect Mercedes to be able to turn this around anytime soon. If they do challenge again then good for them but I highly doubt it will be this year or the next. We will see.

      1. The Mercedes team technical staff didn’t all get poached and they didn’t all go on holiday at the same time. These are a clever bunch. Yes they have several problems to solve, the engine, low speed grip and porpoiseing for a start. But my guess, by the time the circus is back in Europe for a couple of races, they will have developments in most areas.
        They may lag for a while, but Ferrari and Redbull would be wise to not let up.
        Problem for Lewis is that it just might be George R. that is leading the charge for a while.
        As always … gonna be great to watch.

    16. Reminds of people that do previews.

    Comments are closed.