How Max Verstappen Was Once Abandoned by His Father at a Gas Station Following an Argument

Published 12/20/2021, 12:10 PM EST
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Red Bull star Max Verstappen shares a good bond with his father and mentor Jos Verstappen. However, the Dutchman admits he had a tough upbringing. His father is a former F1 driver and was a hard trainer to his son growing up, and that reflects in his driving.

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Max remains the youngest driver to have a Grand Prix start, at a tender age of 17 years. However, the success didn’t come without a cost for the young prodigy. Although being a talented racer, he had to go through rigorous scrutiny from his father, even on his best days.

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 05: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 05, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Verstappen recalls an incident when he was abandoned by his father at a gas station because of an argument when he was just 15 years old.

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Max Verstappen learned a lot of hard lessons

Although Jos Verstappen has pulled himself back from the scheme of things, it wasn’t always the same. In his karting days, Jos constantly partook in his racing. On his bad days, his father kept questioning his natural talent by finding fault with him. From racing in the slithering cold to heavy downpour, Max received every harsh training from his taskmaster.

On one such occasion in 2012, Verstappen was gunning for CIK-FIA KZ2 Karting Championship in Sarno, Italy. Max Verstappen collided with another Karter on the 2nd lap and he threw the win away after qualifying first.

The aftermath was not any better. “My dad worked very hard that weekend and I threw it all away. He was very angry and didn’t talk to me. On the way home, about five miles away, he said something to me and we ended up arguing,” recalls Max as reported by The Sun.

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He got into an argument with Jos and ultimately got kicked out of the van at a gas station. His mother picked him up from the station. The Dutchman also recalls that there was bad blood between them and the two of them didn’t talk for a week.

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However, now that Max has grown into a World Championship-winning driver, he might reckon that those hard-learned lessons proved effective in the end.

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Rituraj Tripathi

249 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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