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Q&A With Max Verstappen: F1 Title Hopes, Cash App Partnership, Netflix Controversy

Few drivers in the history of Formula 1 have taken the sport by storm the way Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has. No. 33 for Red Bull Racing has been driving at the highest level of racing since he was only 17, and his star has been rising ever since. 

Racing is practically in Verstappen’s blood. His father was a Formula 1 driver, his mother competed in karting, and one of his cousins is a former NASCAR driver and endurance racer. So it should be no surprise that he was behind the wheel of a vehicle by the time he was ready for preschool. 

Since joining Formula 1 in 2015, Verstappen has set multiple youth milestones. But the Formula 1 championship itself has eluded him thus far. That could change in the coming days though. He’s neck-and-neck with the great Lewis Hamilton for the 2021 title heading into the season’s final event at Abu Dhabi. 

But Verstappen is more than just a superb racer. He’s rapidly becoming a sports celebrity and a fan favorite to boot. On top of his love of racing, he loves video games and has built up a solid collection of luxury cars that he enjoys taking for a spin when he’s at home. 

Verstappen has also decided to get in on the cryptocurrency boom. He recently teamed up with Cash App, the leading finance app in the United States, who have joined his Red Bull Racing team as a Team Partner for the 2021-22 season. As part of the partnership, he's taking part in a series of videos educating people about how to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptos.

“Cash App joined the Red Bull Racing Honda Team earlier this year as a Team Partner. We always push the boundaries as a Team to develop the best car and Cash App represents speed and the top technology out there - which I think is very important," Verstappen said.

We got a chance to speak to Max to discuss his future goals, his recent withdrawal on Netflix’s hit show Drive to Survive, some fun personal questions and his recent partnership with Cash App.

This interview with Max Verstappen is made possible by Cash App.

TheSpun: On to the nitty-gritty: You’re in a tight title race right now with Jeddah this weekend and Abu Dhabi coming up. How does Max Verstappen hold firm and win his first F1 Championship?

Max Verstappen: I mean it’s going to depend on a lot of different stuff. We of course hope that the car is going to be quick enough to be able to find the end of the championship. We know it’s going to be a tight battle and you can’t afford any mistakes. I’m definitely looking forward to the last two races. It’s exciting.

TheSpun: Talking in the short term you’ve got a brand new track in Jeddah - reportedly the fastest street circuit there is. What are you most looking forward to with this new track?

MV: Driving the track in the first place. It’s new, very quick. We don’t know the grip levels so going out there any experiencing it - that will be the key. We also don’t have that much time to optimize the car. Hopefully it will be very enjoyable to drive.

[Verstappen went on to finish top two at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix]

TheSpun: You’ve teamed up with Cash App to help educate people on cryptocurrency. Why did you feel this was the right time and company to team up with on this project?MV: [Since they’re a] partner of the team it’s natural to be a bit more involved and try to understand the world a bit more. They’re slowly helping me understand. It’s a very new world with a lot of possibilities. It’s been very exciting working with them this year. TheSpun: You recently indicated that you won’t be participating in Netflix’s Drive To Survive because they “faked rivalries.” Has Netflix tried to reach out to you or your people to get you back on board, or has that ship sailed?MV: They tried. I’m a very straightforward guy. I want to be myself all the time and say how I think it is. I don’t like fake stuff [but] I understand that when you make a series you use your imagination and that is a normal thing. But when you start to document things, like a championship, you should keep it real. I understand their view but it’s not how I am. So it’s better not to be part of it.TheSpun: What is one word would you say best describes Max Verstappen on and off the track?MV: Relaxed. I think I’m quite relaxed. I’m pretty chill - not someone who’s very stressed.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at F1 Grand Prix Saudi Arabia

(Photo by Florent Gooden - Pool/Getty Images)

TheSpun: Let’s talk about some of your favorite racing video games. Forza or Gran Turismo?MV: I played Gran Turismo when I was little, but the last two (editions) I haven’t played. But I don’t do arcade stuff anymore.TheSpun: Mario Kart or Grand Theft Auto V?MV: Definitely more memories on Grand Theft.

TheSpun: Favorite professional sports teams?

MV: I’m a fan of Barcelona in general as well as PSV Eindhoven (in the Netherlands).

TheSpun: Now I noticed you’ve got the Netherlands flag in your room. Now that Netherlands has qualified for the (2022 FIFA) World Cup, where do you think they finish?

MV: It’ll be very difficult. You know, you need a bit of luck as well. You can surprise but sometimes the bigger teams can disappoint so I’m just rooting for them and I hope they [go] very far.

Max Verstappen Netherlands flag F1 Grand Prix of Qatar

(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

TheSpun: You own a pretty extensive car collection. Are there any cars out there you have your eye on that you haven’t been able to snag yet?

MV: Actually no. There’s a lot of nice cars in the world but I have to think about “Am I actually going to drive it a lot?” So not really. I’m happy at the moment with what I have. It’s hard enough to drive them in general because I’m traveling (so much). But hopefully I can do that a bit more. 

TheSpun: Will the goal for 2022 be any different whether you win the Championship or not?

MV: No because the goal is always the same. You want to win the race. That goal will be there again. 

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At 24 years of age, Max Verstappen has many more years of Formula 1 driving in front of him than behind him. And as the sport continues to build an increasing foothold in the United States, it's only a matter of time before he becomes as big a household name as his contemporaries in F1, racing in general, and the wide sports world.

We wish Max luck in his future Formula 1 endeavors. But with the way he's been driving over the past few years, he'll be more than fine with or without it.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.