Collision crushes Max' CIK-FIA KF world title dream
Published on 24 November 2013 by Peter Grondsma
The stage was set for Max Verstappen to seal his successful karting career with the world title KF. Despite a commanding first place in the prefinal, a collision with Nicklas Nielsen in the final, denied Max reaching the end of the race and thus clinching the world title. To add to the misery, Max was disqualified from the result, meaning he ends the KF world championship with a third place overall. Nonetheless, the talented Dutchman can look back on a very successful season with an unparalleled string of victories which include the world title in the KZ category and the European KZ and KF titles.
The Saturday started promising as Max showed good pace in the warm-up session after some minor tweaks to his kart. This meant the 16-year old lined up on the grid with confidence for the prefinal. After a decent start from second, he hunts down and passes race leader Dorian Boccolacci. The Frenchman then loses several places due to contact with Nielsen who got tangled up with Jorden Lennox-Lamb. Max leaves the chaos behind as he builds a comfortable gap to Boccolacci, Joyner and Felice Tiene who all tussle for second place. After fifteen laps, Max sees the chequered flag first with a 2,786s gap to Joyner.
When the final gets underway, Max, once again, has a good start. As Nielsen overtakes Joyner for second place, Max has to give it everything to stay in front of his Danish rival. Nielsen draws first blood by bashing into Max after the first few corners, yet Verstappen hangs on to the lead. Nielsen gets a warning flag shown as well as loosing several places. After three laps, the Dane has fought his way back to complete the top three, consisting of Max and Joyner. With a swift manoeuvre the latter overtakes Max on lap seven, which means the young Dutchman is under threat from Nielsen.
Again the Dane makes contact with Verstappen Junior, who needs all his talent to keep his kart on track. Max' efforts are in vane as the kerfuffle leads both drivers into racing side by side on the following straight. There, the rivals collide with both ending in the gravel traps, putting Nielsen out of contention. Max resumes the race in sixth but his kart is damaged too much to regain any hope of a good result. Two laps before the end of the race, Max has to retire after dropping back to 28th position. Joyner takes victory by beating Basz and Convers, a result that gives the race winner the world title.
Despite leaving Bahrain empty handed, Max has had a remarkable season in which, except for today's KF final, he won every event he participated in. Combined with the encouraging results in Formula Renault 2.0 testing in recent weeks, Max can embark full of confidence on the next chapter of his already impressive career.
Results (Saturday) of the 2nd round of the CIK-FIA World Championship 2013 (KF category):
Results warming-up (odd numbers)
Final standings CIK-FIA World Championship KF 2013
Ron Lem / Stefan Meens