The 2023 F1 season is almost over, and Max Verstappen is already victorious after securing his third consecutive championship title in the sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix last month.
The 26-year-old Red Bull Racing star – who will be hoping to win Saturday's inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix – became F1's youngest-ever driver, making his debut at just 17 years old in 2015, and he's come a long way since then, winning the Drivers' Champion title in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
For each of those memorable moments, the Belgian-Dutch star has had someone very special cheering him on – his girlfriend, Kelly Piquet.
Who is Max Verstappen's girlfriend?
Max began dating Kelly in 2020 and they went Instagram official on January 1, 2021, after he shared a photo of them on the beach alongside the caption: "Let's make 2021 a year to remember in many ways. Wishing you all success, love and happiness just as I found mine."
She also shared a photo of the couple, writing: "Love is what makes the world go round. Happy new year and much love."
Kelly was born in Germany on December 7, 1988, and has lived all over the world. After spending much of her childhood in the South of France with her mom, Dutch model Sylvia Tamsma, she moved to Brazil at age 12.
She spent 12 months studying in England before finishing school back in Brazil. She then moved to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College, where she majored in International Relations.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she is fluent in English, French, and Portuguese, and can speak some Spanish and Italian.
What is Kelly Piquet's job?
Kelly has held many different roles throughout her career after starting in fashion as an intern for Bergdorf Goodman and then as an assistant stylist for Vogue Latin America.
She also joined the racing world as for almost two years she was a social media and PR consultant for Formula E. "I am now working full-time for Formula E as social media strategist and content creator," she said at the time. "I focus on Instagram and Twitter and do all Snapchat content."
She is mostly recognized for being a model and has worked with brands including Pepe Jeans, PatBo, and Louis Vuitton. She is also a columnist and blogger. "I consider myself to be a highly eclectic person in every way, and highly adaptable," she wrote in a 2018 post on her website.
"I get along with everyone and I have great appreciation for different cultures." She added: "I have worked in so many different areas of fashion such as magazines, public relations, marketing, social media, as well as in the motorsport world generating online content."
Does Max Verstappen have children?
Max has no biological children, but he does have a close relationship with Kelly's daughter Penelope. Kelly shares the four-year-old with her ex-partner, Russian driver Daniil Kvyat – who Max replaced at Red Bull in 2016 shortly after the season began.
Kelly and Daniil confirmed their romance in 2017 and Penelope was born on July 27, 2019. Five months after the birth, the couple ended their relationship in December 2019.
Speaking of his role in Penelope's life, Max told Time earlier this month: "I'm not the father, that's not the aim. It's always very important that she has a good relationship with her own father, which she has. But I see her every day when I'm at home. We get on very well. She's very cute."
What is Kelly Piquet's connection to F1?
Max is not Kelly's first introduction to F1. Her dad, Nelson Piquet, is racing royalty who won the Formula One World Drivers' Championships in 1981, 1983 and 1987. He drove for Brabham, Williams, Lotus, and Benetton before retiring at age 40.
Kelly's brother, Nelson Piquet Jr. was also an F1 driver for Renault before becoming a Formula E world champion in the 2014–15 season. Her half-brother, Pedro Piquet, 25, is also a racing driver who won the 2014 and 2015 Brazilian Formula 3 Championships.
What happened to Kelly Piquet's father, Nelson Piquet?
The retired driver, 71, has faced some controversy recently. In March, he was ordered to pay $950,000 in "moral damages" by a Brazilian court for making racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton in a 2021 interview.
The Mercedes driver called Nelson out for his behavior on Twitter in June 2022 when the interview resurfaced, writing: "It's more than language. These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.
"I've been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action." Alongside paying damages, Nelson has also reportedly been banned from the F1 paddock.
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