We caught up with Max after his first experiences behind the wheel of the STR9 in Japan, USA and Brazil, where he took over Jev's car during the Friday morning free practice sessions. The topics ranged far and wide, from motor racing of course, but also to girlfriends, school, music, videogames and more.
Q: Your grandfather, your uncle, your mother and your father of course all raced: to what extent does your passion for motorsport come from them?
MV: I have always grown up surrounded by this world but it was my decision to go racing. When I was 4 years old I saw a kid, even younger than me, driving a go-kart. So I wanted to start as well. At the beginning my father didn't let me, but I kept pushing and I started when I was four and a half in the end.
Q: Your father Jos raced in F1 from 1994 until 2003: you were very young but is there a race in particular you remember?
MV: I think around 2000, 2001 when he was racing with Arrows. Mostly I was watching from home. Sometimes I was in the paddock, playing and running around.
Q: What is the most important piece of advice your father has given you?
MV: Probably, "Do your best at the track and stay relaxed. And about the media, just don't listen to anything and don't read anything"
Q: What's your favourite type of music?
MV: I would say Pop music. I don't really have a favourite song or band.
Q: Are you passionate about videogames? What's your favourite genre?
MV: Mainly racing games, especially a few years ago when I used to have more free time. F1 games were my favourite, but the best challenges I had with my father were with MotoGP videogames. We raced against each other when I still was 6 or 7 years old. After that he was too slow for me!
Q: And what about cinema? Do you have a favourite film, actor or genre?
MV: When I was younger Spiderman was the cinema hero I liked the most. I really like the idea of flying. I watched them all: the first three with Toby Maguire and the latest two with Andrew Garfield. In some way I preferred the first saga, but the second one's graphics and its costume design are cooler.
Q: If you hadn't been a racing driver, what other kind of career do you think would have suited you?
MV: I think motorbike racing. If I hadn't started with go-karts I would have begun with two wheels. I had a mini-bike and I really enjoyed it. At the moment my favourite rider is Marc Marquez: he is doing really great stuff with his bike.
Q: Do you have a girlfriend?
MV: Yes! She also comes from a racing family, so she knows this world.
Q: About school: which was your favourite subject? Funniest moment you had with your class mates?
MV: I did not like school that much. Probably gym was the favourite moment of my school schedule. As for the funniest moment I cannot forget when we had a kind of "Fruit Day" at school. One day every month, in my school in Belgium, we were given a lot of fruit at the school. Once we started playing around with fruit and I threw a fruit at a classmate of mine: it literally blew up on his face and spread all over the place in the class room!
Q: You have driven our STR9 a few times now: how would you describe this experience to someone, a friend of yours, your own age?
MV: It is fast, mate... much faster than a roller coaster. At the beginning if you go in it, you can't keep up with your eyes, especially when you brake. When you go around the corner you can feel that it keeps going... it doesn't stop. Normally when you shift up with a normal car you feel the power going down, but here you see that it keeps accelerating.
Source: Scuderia Toro Rosso