Franz Tost's impressive story of how he recognized Max Verstappen's talent: Details!

"During his first test I was really impressed how fast he adapted to the speed and brakes."- he said.

by Sead Dedovic
Franz Tost's impressive story of how he recognized Max Verstappen's talent: Details!
© Peter Fox / Getty Images Sport

Former AlphaTauri F1 team principal Franz Tost revealed in an interview with BBC Sports how he became acquainted with the talent of Max Verstappen. Although many disputed Tost and his decisions at the time, Verstappen already showed at the age of 16 that he is a tremendous talent who is ready for great things. Tost remembered the Norisring race. Max was way ahead of his peers.  When you've been in the world of Formula 1 for so long, you have no problem understanding who has talent and who doesn't. Tost is a man who always knew how to "smell" talent and give him a chance. Verstappen is probably the best decision in his career.

"I remember Max at the Norisring [circuit in Germany] at 16 years old. It was wet and he was one and a half to two seconds faster than anyone else. I said all other drivers should give back their licences, the only driver in this field is Max Verstappen,” Tost told BBC Sport, as quoted by!

What makes a driver special is his ability to adapt to different conditions. It was Max Verstappen who showed his ability to adapt countless times. Tost realized that in front of him was an intelligent driver who could dominate the F1 tracks in the future. Right from the start, Verstappen adapted to the car and the conditions and showed that he is a great talent. Tost had no doubts: Verstappen is ready for big things!

Max Verstappen and Franz Tost
Max Verstappen and Franz Tost© Clive Mason / Getty Images Sport

"During his first test I was really impressed how fast he adapted to the speed and brakes… normally drivers need 100-150km to get used to the enormous power which an F1 car has under accelerating and under braking. But from the first lap onwards he was familiar with everything."

The decision to give him a chance to perform at Suzuka caused a large number of reactions, mostly negative ones. Everyone thought that Tost was making a big mistake and was staring unnecessarily. However, he knew what others did not.

"We decided he would do FP1 in Suzuka [at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix] and journalists said: 'You are totally crazy… Suzuka is one of the most dangerous tracks; how can you start him in FP1? He has to be prepared.’"

Franz Tost: I said: 'Don't talk so much'

 However, Tost, as an experienced person on the F1 scene, did not want to enter into discussions with anyone. He knew that the best answer would be the great performances of Max Verstappen. Even though Tost might have expected that it would be necessary to wait a while for Max to show his talent, the Dutchman impressed everyone at the start and gave indications that he could become a champion in the future.  F1 analysts and journalists knew that they were witnessing one of the greatest talents in the history of this sport. Max showed more and more confidence from race to race and managed to establish his dominance. Red Bull executives have done a great job when it comes to Max.

"I said: 'Don't talk so much, let's discuss in five years, then we will see who was right - you or me?' It didn't take five years - immediately, from the first year.” 

Franz was delighted with Verstappen and pointed out several of Max's colleagues who also impressed him and reminded him of him. There are many F1 drivers who resemble Verstappen, but the Dutchman is currently far from all of them. After witnessing Max's dominance, many now want to spoil his plans. Some of them are George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, and many more.

"It was the same with Vettel - both of them had similar approaches, similar attitudes. 

It was fantastic to work together with these drivers… [Daniel] Ricciardo, [Carlos] Sainz and [Pierre] Gasly - all are high-class drivers with a lot of potential in them.”

Max Verstappen showed at the very start of his adventure in Red Bull that he is one of the greatest talents ever, and that he is destined for great things. The fact that he managed to win three championships in a row in competition with such great drivers speaks volumes about the quality of this young Dutchman. Although Lewis Hamilton was dominating and it seemed that no one could stand in his way, young Verstappen appeared and dethroned the Briton. The previous season was the best indicator of Verstappen's quality. Right from the start, it was clear that Max could have a dominance that has not been seen before on F1 tracks. The leaders of Red Bull hope that the next year can be as sucessful as the previous one. 

Verstappen is cautious and believes that the Red Bull leaders and drivers know that they have a much more difficult task ahead of them next season. Many F1 teams will do their best to stop Red Bull's dominance, but the question is whether they will succeed in doing so.

Franz Tost Max Verstappen