Inside Michael Schumacher's deep connection with Max Verstappen as F1 star would call him 'Uncle' Michael | The Sun

Inside Michael Schumacher's deep connection with Max Verstappen as F1 star would call him 'Uncle' Michael | The Sun

MAX Verstappen has opened up about his close relationship with Michael Schumacher who he 'd call 'Uncle.'

The F1 star spent a lot of time growing up with the Schumacher family as his dad Jos Verstappen and seven-time champ Michael were close friends.

Max was introduced to racing from a young age alongside Michael's son Mick, who also became an F1 driver.

The two families' connection features in episode 4 – Like Father, Like Son? of Netflix's Drive to Survive.

Footage released as part of the series'latest season shows Michael talking about young Mick and Max and discussing with Jos whether they would allow their children to become F1 drivers.

The double-world champion has revealed he spent a big part of his childhood with the Schumacher family as they would all go on holidays together.

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He told F1 Insider: "I was three or four years old at the time. I just knew that was Uncle Michael.

"Who was very nice. Who was an extremely big family man.

"But I never saw him as a record World Champion, I didn’t know that."

Max, a 35-time race winner, continued: "You can see that in the old photos and videos that we have at home. Mick or Gina was always there.

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"It was great. I still have positive memories of those weekends today."

The 24-year-old added that Jos and Michael would load their kids up on two-seater go-karts and two father and son duos would race against each other.

He said: "We always went karting in two-seaters. Michael with Mick or Gina, my father with me.

"But when it got too dangerous, the fathers quickly took over!"

Netflix's documentary also brought to light a touching photo showing Michael cradling baby Max on his lap alongside his own daughter, Gina-Maria.

Drive to Survive also charts Mick's difficult sophomore season in 2022 – including his horror 170mph accident in Saudi Arabia.

Mick's rough year saw him outscored by his teammate, the returning Danish veteran Kevin Magnussen.

The show outlines Mick's struggles – and the pressure that came with racing under the name "Schumacher".

Speaking about his good friend, Max said: "It was different for Mick than it was for me. His father is the record world champion, with seven world championships.

"That's a difficult starting position at first."

Michael, one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, continues his recovery after his horror ski crash in 2013.

He raced from 1991 to 2006, and again from 2010 to 2012 – a second act of his career which saw him become instrumental in setting up the dominant Mercedes team.

The German won five world championships with Ferrari and two for Benetton.

Schumacher retired in 2012, but just a year later he was involved in the life-changing skiing accident while on the slopes with Mick.

He was left in a medically induced coma before being released home and then ever since it has been near silence on the driver's condition.

He has not been seen in public ever since.

His family, led by wife Corinna, closely protect Michael's privacy and offer him a quiet life.

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Since then there have only been hints and cryptic rumours about Schumacher's health with drip-fed information from friends and unnamed sources.

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