Max Verstappen’s coach reveals he had to ‘Google him at the airport’

Max Verstappen leads the world championship after 13 rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Bradley Scanes, performance coach for Max Verstappen, has revealed that he knew very little of Formula 1 before he met the Dutchman, but now thoroughly enjoys their working relationship.

Jake Aliker departed Verstappen’s team in 2019, and the now 24-year-old acquired the services of Scanes at the start of 2020.

Scanes works as a consultant with team GB’s gymnastics team when he is not by Verstappen’s side, so the pinnacle of motorsport was not his area of expertise going into the job.

So limited was his knowledge, in fact, that he was not even aware of who the Red Bull driver was when his first took a meeting with him, so he had no idea what to expect upon seeing him for the first time.

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“Absolutely not,” Scanes told the Pitstop Podcast when asked if he watched F1 before he started working with the now reigning champion.

“I was googling who Max Verstappen was at the airport whilst I was going to meet him.”

Verstappen’s relationship with Scanes is a perhaps unconventional one. Daniel Ricciardo has known his coach, Michael Italiano, since the pair were young, while Sir Lewis Hamilton has spent years working with his physiotherapist, Angela Cullen.

The Red Bull driver then got to know Scanes as the world entered into the COVID-19 pandemic, naturally making time together more difficult at the start of their partnership.

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However, the pair developed a close bond, which is vital when dealing with some who is going to be pushing a driver to the limit and spending a great deal of time with them.

“I always say you couldn’t do this job if you weren’t friends because you spend that much time together that you have to get on with the person you’re working with,” explained Scanes.

“He’s a good guy, a really down to earth guy, he likes being at home, spending time with family and friends.

“We have a nice relationship in that we can go for dinner and chat about the football, sit down and watch the football, play a bit of FIFA.”

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Scanes affirmed that, while Verstappen does not enjoy the long training hours per se, he has the discipline to know how vital it is for his performance in the car.

“It is really important to be in good shape, if not, it can cost you lap time on track,” he explained.

“If in the final laps of a race you are getting fatigued, it can affect you mentally, which can have consequences. 

“Training isn’t his biggest hobby, that’s driving a car but he knows that he has to, and Max is very disciplined. 

“If he has to choose, he’d prefer going for a run and working with weights on his balcony.”

Verstappen currently leads the way in the 2022 standings with eight race wins, and he is 80 points clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc heading into the summer break.