Roberto Merhi feels Max Verstappen’s rise to stardom in Formula 1 was a case of him being in the right place at the right time.
Verstappen started the 2016 season with Scuderia Toro Rosso, but after Daniil Kvyat caused two separate incidents with Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel at the Russian Grand Prix, the decision was made to promote Verstappen to Red Bull Racing. The Spanish Grand Prix was his first race under the Milton Keynes based outfit.
He shown strong performance here as he won the Grand Prix, becoming F1’s youngest ever race winner. The Dutch continued this strong performance for the rest of the season, as he took another six podium finishes. Merhi is not denying that Verstappen has talent, but feels he was in the right place at the right time to receive the promotion.
“Max was in the right place at the right time, that’s how it is,” Merhi told Spanish sports publication AS. “There is no denying he is a very good driver, but it is also true that everything has come to him.”
Merhi was with Manor Racing in 2015 for his F1 rookie season, he believes the stewards have shown leniency towards Verstappen. With incidents that have sparked controversy, especially with Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
“He has got away with anything,” added Merhi. “I don’t know if it is because he is so young or because he is spectacular.”