The Dutch pilot has personally met Nelson Piquet, the father of his girlfriend Kelly in Brazil
Max has hallucinated with the garage and the old racing cars of the Brazilian, triple F-1 world champion in the 80s
Max Verstappen it is living, without a doubt, its most intense year. And not only at the sports level. In January, the Dutch pilot officially confirmed his relationship with Kelly Piquet, nine years older than him and ex-partner of Russian Daniil Kvyat, with whom he has a 3-year-old daughter, Penelope. The beautiful young woman, who has worked in Formula E and is also a regular in the F1 paddock, is daughter of the great Nelson Piquet, triple world champion of Formula 1 in the decade of the 80 (1981, 1983 and 1987).
It is the second time that Verstappen has overtaken Kvyat. At the 2016 Spanish GP, the two staged an awkward press conference after Helmut Marko announced that Max and Daniil were going to exchange their steering wheels from the Barcelona race. The Dutchman, then just 17 years old, was promoted to Red Bull and the Russian was demoted to the Toro Rosso car. The ‘doctor’ Marko was right, because that weekend Max won his first grand prize.
Life goes on. Kelly and Kvyat separated in March 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. And Verstappen wasted no time in winning her over. The relationship has been consolidated in recent months and this week, coinciding with the Brazilian Grand Prix, Max was able to meet personally his famous three-time champion father-in-law, who has proudly displayed its impressive garage, with some of the cars he piloted during his career. “It is a dream, I would like to have a similar one in the future, with so many different cars. And I was delighted to be able to visit it,” said Verstappen under the guidance of Nelson Piquet.
“We haven’t talked about this year’s title battle with Hamilton. I don’t need advice, I know what to do when I’m behind the wheel. So it was just a nice talk on a lot of different topics. I am a calm person and it is nice to be able to spend time with the in-laws “, Max commented upon his arrival at the circuit of Interlagos, when asked about the appointment: “It is not the first time that I speak with Nelson, but it is the first time that I do it in person because until now we have chatted by videoconference,” he revealed.
And it is true that Piquet’s ‘little battles’ are not going to separate Max from his objective: he arrives in Brazil with 19 points clear of Lewis Hamilton, that, as if that were not enough, will penalize five places on the grid this Sunday after changing the internal combustion engine of your Mercedes. He comes from winning two consecutive races (Austin and Mexico). In addition, in his last race at Interlagos (2019), the Red Bull one was victorious against the silver arrows. In short, the ideal conditions for Verstappen to try to give the ‘lunge’ to the championship this weekend. In front of his father-in-law.
Hamilton will start first in the sprint race
Lewis Hamilton will open the race grid to the sprint that this Saturday will be held within the framework of the Brazilian Grand Prix and that will order the grid for Sunday. The English rider demonstrated his absolute dominance on the Brazilian track this Friday, in a classification disputed in the dry, despite the rain forecast, with gusts of wind and quite cold temperatures (17º). Hamilton had led the first free practice sessions and repeated in Q1 and Q2. In the final battle of Q3, Max Verstappen has remained surprisingly at a disadvantage to his rival in the final battle of the mock pole. The Dutchman is 2.6 tenths behind Hamilton, and Valtteri Bottas will start right behind him. The two Spaniards finished ahead of their respective teammates. Carlos Sainz will start sixth with the Ferrari ahead of Leclerc and Fernando Alonso will complete the ‘top ten’ in the last race of the 2021 sprint, which will award 3, 2 and 1 points to the best three and will define the ‘poleman’ of Brazil.