Formula 1 flashback: Verstappen stars in the rain

Formula 1 flashback: Verstappen stars in the rain

27 March 2014 – Throughout the 2014 season, GPUpdate.net will be posting a Formula 1 flashback prior to each event. For the Malaysian Grand Prix edition, we spoke to Jos Verstappen, who stole the show at Sepang in 2001.

In mid-March 13 years ago Verstappen made an incredible impression in his Arrows, outwitting a clutch of his rivals as the lights went out and delivering a master class when the heavens opened. Despite starting from 18th position, the Dutchman found himself running in the top six after just two corners. He made further progress as the rain arrived, occupying a podium position when the Safety Car was brought out to neutralise the field.

As the rain subsided and the track began to dry up, Verstappen lost ground when his rivals were able to unleash the full potential of their superior machines. After a brave battle with the McLaren of Mika Häkkinen and Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen, he ultimately took the chequered flag in seventh place, just outside the points.

How do you look back at this race?
It was one of my better races. People really saw my way of racing. I made a good start and, two or three laps in, it started to rain. I came in at the right time and jumped a few cars. It was so good. All year long we had a car that was fast on the straights but lacking downforce in the corners. Later on, I had that nice fight with Häkkinen.

At the start you jumped from 18th to sixth. How were the first few hundred metres from the cockpit?
I was just trying to make the best possible start! I slipped between some cars at the first corner, where someone spun in front of me (Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari tipped Ralf Schumacher's Williams into a spin). But I was on the right of the track, so it went well for me. But my starts were always good, so it was no different this time.

And then the rain came pouring down…
Yes. For me it was always a good situation to start on the dry tyres and for rain to arrive, especially when there was no practice for this. If people have driven on a wet track earlier in the weekend, everybody knows what to do if it rains again. But it is obviously very different if the first storm comes during the race! Then you as a driver, especially in the opening few laps, can really make a difference.

You were running as high as second at one point. Did you ever begin to think of the podium?
It was still very early in the race. The track surface dries very quickly in Malaysia when the rain stops. Half an hour on and the track was dry again from the heat. I know it was going to be tough, but we did our best.

You ultimately finished seventh. Could you live with that outcome?
It was a horrible feeling, because at that time you did not score a point for finishing in seventh position. We were not very happy after the race, as I thought I would get at least one point from it. It was certainly a great effort, but for me the result was very disappointing.

Michael Schumacher, who won the race despite an early error, spoke highly of you...
He said that he was impressed with how I had driven. But that did not make much of a difference to me. I knew what I could do. But it was nice that he said what he did to the rest of the world.

Why do you think that people still talk about your performance in Malaysia?
In every race I had some great moments with drivers, but this time it was with Häkkinen. Other guys who I fought in Formula 1 could also drive well, but the fact that it was Häkkinen in a good car perhaps made it a bit more special for others. For me, it was simply a fun fight, but it was also very nice to go up against a McLaren.

Erwin Jaeggi
Twitter: @Jaeggi

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 3 December 2016

  2. Rosberg would have stayed if he lost title 14:46

    Rosberg would have stayed if he lost title

    World Champion Nico Rosberg says he would have stayed in Formula 1 for another season had he not beaten Mercedes team-mate Lewis…

    F1
  3. F1 paddock pays tribute to retiring Rosberg 13:06

    F1 paddock pays tribute to retiring Rosberg

    Formula 1 drivers, paddock members and the wider motorsport world have been paying tribute to Nico Rosberg, following his shock…

    F1
  4. 11:44

    Gallery: FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Vienna

    F1
  5. Hamilton: Rosberg retirement 'not a surprise' 10:32

    Hamilton: Rosberg retirement 'not a surprise'

    Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg's decision to retire was "not a surprise", despite the newly-crowned World Champion stunning…

    F1
  6. Verstappen receives two FIA Gala awards 09:17

    Verstappen receives two FIA Gala awards

    Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen has been handed two awards at the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala, held at Vienna's Hofburg…

    F1
  7. Video: Rosberg collects Formula 1 trophy 09:13

    Video: Rosberg collects Formula 1 trophy

    The retiring Nico Rosberg receives his World Championship trophy during the FIA's annual Prize-Giving Gala.

    F1
  8. Rosberg crowned World Champion at Gala 09:08

    Rosberg crowned World Champion at Gala

    The retiring Nico Rosberg has been officially crowned as the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion during the FIA's annual Prize-Giving…

    F1
  9. In photos: Rosberg's final F1 race day 08:32

    In photos: Rosberg's final F1 race day

    Nico Rosberg announced on Friday that he will be retiring from Formula 1 as World Champion. GPUpdate.net flicks through…

    F1
  10. Video of the Day: Ferrari's 'Flying Aces' 05:28

    Video of the Day: Ferrari's 'Flying Aces'

    Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen experienced the world's tallest loop rollercoaster at Ferrari World in Abu…

    F1
  11. Friday 2 December 2016

  12. Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017 20:05

    Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017

    Takuma Sato will make the switch to Andretti Autosport for 2017, completing the team's four-car line-up. Sato, 39, has raced…

    Indy
  13. 18:02

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  14. Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends 17:56

    Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends

    DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi set the pace as GP2's end-of-season test reached its conclusion at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit on…

    GP2
  15. Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg 15:08

    Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg

    Following the shock news that Nico Rosberg will retire from Formula 1 with immediate effect, GPUpdate.net looks at the potential…

    F1
  16. Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire 14:02

    Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire

    Nico Rosberg explains why he has decided to retire from Formula 1 after winning the world title.

    F1
  17. Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement 13:47

    Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the manufacturer will "take time" in deciding who will replace Nico Rosberg, who has announced his…

    F1
  18. Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision 13:45

    Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has applauded Nico Rosberg's "brave decision" to retire from Formula 1 as World Champion, following a…

    F1
  19. Rosberg retires from F1 as champion 13:20

    Rosberg retires from F1 as champion

    Nico Rosberg has announced that he is to retire from Formula 1, just a few days after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton…

    F1
  20. Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley 13:12

    Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg celebrates his maiden Formula 1 title win at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley.

    F1
  21. Ecclestone confirms French GP reports 11:58

    Ecclestone confirms French GP reports

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed recent reports that the French Grand Prix is poised to return to the calendar…

    F1
  22. Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint 10:32

    Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint

    Kevin Magnussen says he "learned a lot" from Renault over the course of the 2017 season, as he prepares to embark on the next…

    F1
  23. Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley 09:21

    Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg appeared at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley on Thursday, as part of a packed celebration schedule after…

    F1
  24. 'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018' 09:05

    'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018'

    France could make a surprise return to the Formula 1 calendar at Paul Ricard from the 2018 campaign, in a five-year agreement…

    F1
  25. Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness 07:34

    Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness

    Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko reckons Max Verstappen's only remaining weakness is an occasional lack of patience…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016 05:38

    Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016

    Nico Rosberg opens up on a demanding 2016 season, which resulted in his maiden championship win.

    F1
  27. Thursday 1 December 2016

  28. 17:02

    Photos: Rosberg visits Mercedes factory

    F1
  29. Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day 16:08

    Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day

    Alexander Albon topped the times for ART Grand Prix on the second day of GP2's end-of-season test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina…

    GP2
  30. F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency' 15:32

    F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency'

    Formula 1 stewards are looking at holding regular de-brief meetings to review Grands Prix in an attempt to achieve "better…

    F1
  31. ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner 14:14

    ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner

    Red Bull has announced ExxonMobil as its new fuel, lubricant and motor oil partner for the 2017 season, replacing Total, which…

    F1
  32. Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season 13:16

    Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff discusses the manufacturer's continued Formula 1 success in 2016, the tense showdown between Nico…

    F1
  33. Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title 11:12

    Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has conceded that Lewis Hamilton's engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix, while on course for…

    F1
  34. Stroll relieved Canadian GP is secured 10:12

    Stroll relieved Canadian GP is secured

    Lance Stroll says that it will be "a dream come true" to take part in his home Grand Prix in Canada next season, after the event…

    F1
  35. Evans calls time on GP2 after four seasons 09:04

    Evans calls time on GP2 after four seasons

    New Zealander Mitch Evans has called time on his GP2 Series career after four seasons, in order to fully focus on his new…

    GP2
  36. European F3 set to return to Britain in 2017 09:02

    European F3 set to return to Britain in 2017

    Britain is set to reclaim a season-opening slot on the 2017 European Formula 3 calendar. European Formula 3 last visited the…

    F3
  37. Rosberg: Hamilton 'one of the best ever' 07:26

    Rosberg: Hamilton 'one of the best ever'

    Nico Rosberg has paid tribute to Lewis Hamilton, describing him as "one of the best ever" drivers in Formula 1 history, after…

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Rosberg's title celebrations 05:42

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's title celebrations

    Nico Rosberg celebrated his maiden title win with Mercedes partner Petronas in Malaysia this week.

    F1
  39. Wednesday 30 November 2016

  40. 18:02

    Overview: Formula 1's confirmed 2017 roster

    F1
  41. FIA announces revised 20-race F1 calendar 17:42

    FIA announces revised 20-race F1 calendar

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has presented a revised 20-race calendar for the 2017 season, with the German Grand Prix…

    F1
  42. Marciello tops first day of post-season test 16:26

    Marciello tops first day of post-season test

    Raffaele Marciello topped the first day of GP2's post-season test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit, driving for former team…

    GP2
  43. 14:02

    Photos: Rosberg celebrates title in Malaysia

    F1
  44. Rosberg proud to emulate father's success 12:11

    Rosberg proud to emulate father's success

    Nico Rosberg says "one of the most emotional parts" of clinching a maiden Formula 1 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was…

    F1
more news