How F1 racing driver Max Verstappen and his partner Kelly Piquet overcame their nine-year age gap

Although Max Verstappen may be the name that comes to mind when thinking of Formula 1 racing, his partner Kelly Piquet is no stranger to that world either. 

The pair have been together for almost three years now, but Piquet’s history with racing goes much further back than an introduction from her beau. 

The Brazilian-Dutch model grew up in a family of F1 drivers. Her dad is three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet, and her older brother followed closely in his footsteps, competing in both the F1 and Formula E. 

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Kelly Piquet and Max Verstappen

Verstappen also comes from a background in the sport; his dad is Jos Verstappen, an F1 racer from 1994 to 2003.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the now couple first met, sharing a dinner with Piquet’s older brother, Nelson Jr.

Despite their similarities, the two didn’t start dating following their initial meeting, and it was actually another four years before their love story began.

In the meantime, Piquet began seeing another F1 driver, Daniil Kvyat.

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The former couple started dating in 2017, and split shortly after welcoming their daughter Penelope in 2019. 

By 2021, Piquet and Verstappen had hard launched their relationship via an Instagram post on Verstappen’s account. 

“Let’s make 2021 a year to remember in many ways,” Verstappen captioned the image of the two getting cosy at a New Year’s celebration. “Wishing you all success, love and happiness just as I found mine.”

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Kelly Piquet and Max Verstappen

Speaking with Vogue Netherlands, Piquet said that “something magical happened” the night her and Verstappen first met.

At the time, she was 28 and he was just 19. 

Over the years, the two have continued to share their support for each other via social media, with Piquet often taking to Instagram to celebrate her beau’s wins. 

Although the couple don’t have children together, Verstappen seems to have taken on a role as a second dad to Penelope, even sharing a post in honour of Piquet for Mother’s Day in 2022.

“Happy Mother’s Day to these amazing mothers 🙏🤩,” he wrote alongside an image of Piquet beside his mum, followed by an image of his younger sister Victoria Verstappen who also has two children. 

That same year, Piquet also shared images of the three of them together celebrating Penelope’s third birthday. “Favourite moments from the party 💕,” she wrote.

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Kelly Piquet and Max Verstappen

Although the couple rarely give much insight into their relationship outside of the occasional loved up Instagram post, Piquet shared some rare details in her 2022 interview with Vogue Netherlands.

“I think we have a very healthy relationship, easy-going, we have a lot of understanding and support for each other,” she said. 

“You would think the age difference could be a challenge, but so far things are going really well. 

“I also really appreciate how he treats Penelope. It’s so sweet to see. 

“He always asks for her, always visits her to say hello when he leaves, and gets her love back. So cute!”

In the same interview, Piquet opened up about her life growing up around racing, saying her relationship with Verstappen works so well because she ‘understands what those guys are going through’.

“My earliest memories are from the race track,” she shared.

“There’s a really cute video of me walking down the pit lane with a sandwich in one hand and a drink in the other … the princess of the track. 

“I was always very involved in my brother’s career. I’ve been through the ups and downs, seeing what pressure does to a person. This world is so familiar to me.”

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Kelly Piquet and Max Verstappen

She also shared that she hopes that there are more children in her future, which is a sentiment that Verstappen seems to share. 

Speaking with Dutch newspaper De Limburger, Verstappen said that he ‘definitely’ wants kids of his own. 

But for now, it seems that the two are happy raising Penelope alongside their two Bengal cats, Jimmy and Sassy.