Jos Verstappen Shares ‘Lessons From the Past’ That Molded Max Verstappen To Be Championship Material

Published 12/19/2021, 2:46 AM EST
MONTMELO, SPAIN: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with his father Jos Verstappen in the garage during day three of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Max Verstappen and his father Jos have claimed the championship as theirs. Not just Max’s, but also the journey that the two have shared to the first title. Thus, it’s a shared experience for the two, as Jos revealed how he prepared his son to take on the world.

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Verstappen is known for his rather steely personality- a fortress that can seldom be broken. Jos shared an anecdote that well explains Verstappen’s outlook on racing. “In Formula 3 we were testing and Max got a pain in his neck. He hung his head against the side of the car. Then I said: what a weakling you are, man.”

 

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Jos explained how the slight inconvenience could be something Max would remember for a while, or maybe later when something similar happens. ” If anything now, he’s thinking about those kinds of lessons from the past. And let one thing be clear: for me, it has always been with the best of intentions. I wanted to make someone. Well make it, just teach him as much as you can.”

Thus, Jos focuses on taking the negative aspects of the sport, and instead of teaching Max how to avoid it, it was about overcoming it. “That’s what I mean when I say something to him about that neck. If he’s in pain, he should start training his neck and not put his head against the car. I don’t remember any pain in his neck since then. That also typifies his character.”

Max Verstappen following Jos’ footsteps

Max Verstappen hasn’t stopped crediting his father for his success, and all with good reason. Jos explained how, although he was karting, he’d make time for Max. Despite being “demolished” at times, nothing came between him and his son.

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“I immediately went on like crazy: seven days a week, 16 hours a day. I didn’t care about the rest, I went full for Max. And of course, he saw that.”

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN – JANUARY 31: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Scuderia Toro Rosso poses with his father Jos Verstappen after unveiling the new STR10 during previews ahead of Formula One Winter Testing at Circuito de Jerez on January 31, 2015 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Further, it is the same relentlessness that is reflected in Max. Thus, over time, Verstappen knows what works for him and what doesn’t. “Max is someone who decides very quickly. If you try something, it’s good or bad for him, it gets better or it doesn’t get better. There is no in-between and that’s a good thing. He immediately says yes or no.”

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Jos’ tough love and persistence have given us a roaring 2021 champion, one that we cannot wait to see more of.

Watch this story: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

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Shreya Sanjeev

776 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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