Brilliant young driver Max Verstappen is hoping to emulate three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton when the winner of the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award is revealed in Berlin next month.
Verstappen has been shortlisted for the Award, which Hamilton won in 2008, and said: “I'm honoured to be nominated for something as big as this. It shows that I had a great first season in Formula One. I think it's not too bad to see how his career unfolded after winning the Award.”
Of his brilliant 2015, in which he became the youngest Formula One driver in the history of the sport at 17 years 166 days, Verstappen said: “I'm very happy about how I performed in my first season. I think I showed the world that I was capable of driving a Formula One car.”
He is now looking forward to improvement in 2016, after finishing tenth in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in the Toro Rosso. “We already improved the car a bit from last year, and there are still some things to come. I think winning a Grand Prix may be a bit too far. You always dream and hope, but we need a lot of luck for that. For the moment, I think it's a good start and hopefully we can go further from here.”
Verstappen had a racing incident with team-mate Carlos Sainz during the Grand Prix, but is relaxed about the situation. “We want to beat each other on track, but I think everybody wants to be a team-mate, and off?track everything is going well, so there are no issues there. I don't see any big problems in that.”