Dutch F1 Racers and Their History

Dutch motor-racing drivers have many wins on their record. From Daytona to Le Mans, from Targa Florio to Sebring, many prestigious tracks have seen Dutch drivers on the first place of the podium. But when it comes to Formula One, the track record looks rather meager, at least until recently. There were undoubtedly many Dutch drivers in the history of Formula One, and while many had the potential for it, only a few had a real chance to score points and compete for the championship. Robert Doornbos, Roelof Wunderkind, Michael Bleekemolen, Huub Rothengatter and many more have raced in the Formula One. But only a handful of Dutch drivers were able to leave a mark.

Carel Godin de Beaufort

Born 1934 in Maarsbergen, Utrecht, was a steadfast Formula One privateer driving a used Porsche sometimes coloured in Orange. He named his team after the ancestral castle in which he was born- Ecurie Maarsbergen. Although he had a noble heritage, he was rather savage when it came to driving. With more and more experience his driving style became steady, and he began scoring points. The first Dutch driver in Formula One to do so. His debut in the Formula One was in 1957, but it wasn’t until 1962 before he scored points. His racing career ended abruptly. He died after a crash at the Nürburgring GP in 1964.  In total, he achieved 4 points in 30 Formula One races.

Gijs van Lennep

Gijs van Lennep also did hold a noble title, just like Beaufort before him. Born in 1942, his main achievement in motorsports was in sports car racing. In Formula One, he competed in eight races. Mainly due to not having a competitive car, he scored only 2 points in his brief Formula One career. He raced between 1971-1975 for the teams Surtees, Williams and Ensign. After his Formula One career, he succeeded in winning Le Man twice.

Jos Verstappen

Three-time champion of the German Formula three, Jos Verstappen made his debut in the Formula One with Benetton in 1994. Jos was first hired as a tester for Benetton, but he managed to earn 10 points in his debut season, which made him the most successful Dutch Formula One driver. Nicknamed “Jos the Boss” and “Dutch Devil”, he drove for teams like Stewart, Honda and Minardi. In his Formula One career, he made a total of 17 points and retired in 2003. After he retired he began mentoring his son, Max, who he fathered with another racing driver, his wife, Sophie Kumpen. They also have a daughter who races cars, must be in the blood.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen career already began with a record. In 2014 he was the youngest driver ever to partake in a Grand Prix weekend. He was 17 years old at that moment as he did a free practice with Torro Rosso at the Japanese Grand Prix. In January 2015, at the Australian Grand Prix, he then became the youngest Formula One driver ever to start a World Championship Race, with 17 years and 166 days. At the end of his debut year, he was priced with three awards at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony. Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year crowned his first season in the Formula One. In total, he was able to be “the youngest ever” in eight different categories. From youngest driver to score points to youngest Grand Prix winner ever, from youngest to set a lap record to youngest ever to lead a lap in Formula One, Max Verstappen maybe holds every “ youngest” record that can be obtained in the Formula One.  He also scored 49 points in his first season, just slightly more than his father. Since 2016 he drives for Red Bull, and his total score is 670 points, the current season not included.

Written by Donato