Max Verstappen Reveals Why His Father Jos Initially Declined His Karting Ambitions

Published 10/30/2021, 3:07 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is seen on the grid before the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Darron Cummings


Max Verstappen is a once-in-a-lifetime talent in Formula One. He might just be the most talented driver since the entry of Lewis Hamilton in the sport in 2007. Max entered the sport in 2015, aged just 17, and became the youngest driver to win a race in F1, aged just 18.

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But he has been early to start in every racing category he has entered. He was just 4 and a half years old when he started karting. Verstappen revealed he was the one to decide to race in go-karts so young despite the initial resistance from his father.

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It was actually all my decision: Max Verstappen

As reported by Gentlemens Journal, the Dutch driver recalled how he started his journey in karting. He also mentioned that his father, former F1 driver Jos, had said no to him when he proposed to race in karting.

“While I grew up, my dad had the go-kart team and, of course, he raced in F1, and my mum raced in go-karting herself until she had me. Yeah, I always grew up around it, but it doesn’t mean that you have to do it. My parents never pushed me into driving,” said Max.

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)

“It was actually all my decision. After going to the go-kart track and seeing a younger kid driving around, I called my dad, who was in Canada for F1 at the time, and I said I wanted to drive.

“Initially, he said no. He wanted me to wait two more years, but I did start half a year later, when I was four and a half, in go-karts,” said Verstappen.

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almost 2 years ago

The Dutch driver states he doesn’t think about his age

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The Red Bull driver mentioned he knew he was one of the youngest drivers on the grid, but he does not think about his age. He stated he has always driven in categories where he was the youngest.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference after winning the United States Grand Prix FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

“I didn’t think about my age, to be honest, and I always drove in categories where I was the youngest. I was always racing against guys who were two to three years older, or even more.

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“Especially my final year in go-karting. So, I didn’t feel out of my comfort zone when I started in F1 and I was like, well, I’m used to this,” said Max.

And that is why despite being just 24 years old, Max has experience of 7 years in Formula One and is a prime contender for the championship.

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Devang Chauhan

567 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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