The Formula One summer break is still ongoing, but the mind games continue to rage. This time, it is Jos Verstappen, father of Max Verstappen, and his target is none other than Lewis Hamilton. Jos is of the opinion that the on-form Red Bull driver has rattled reigning five time world champion.
“When you see what kind of races Max has been driving, I don’t think you can be surprised” Jos Verstappen proudly declared. “You can tell by the things Hamilton has been saying.”
“Why would he respond to rumours? He says that the Honda engine is better than Mercedes now, but I don’t think that’s the case on the straights.”
However, Verstappen Sr was quick to assuage talks of complacency, saying that Max is remaining cool. Al this is in spite of the fact that he secured his first ever pole position in Hungary, getting the monkey off his back.
“Max never spoke to me about that,” he said. “It never bothered him. He is totally unconcerned with things like that.”
For now though, Verstappen is focusing on victories and challenging Lewis Hamilton for the world championship. Jos openly declared that Max will “absolutely” be at Red Bull-Honda in 2020.
“I think this is the beginning of a new era,” admitted former F1 driver Stefan Johansson.
“As I said a year ago, Verstappen and Honda will dominate, probably for four or five years once they get it right, which they will.
“When Honda is committed they always get it right in the end, and once they do they are very hard to stop.”
Jos is confident that his son will be a “hero” in Japan if he wins the championship with a Honda engine.
“What happened with Senna may now happen with Max. And that’s only good,” Verstappen senior said.
As it turned out, Max Verstappen whole-heartedly supported Red Bull’s decision at the end of last year to split with Renault and switch to Honda.
“The whole preparation is so much better than in previous years,” Max said.
“There is a real collaboration and exchange of ideas between Red Bull and Honda. We try to help them, they try to help us.”
“The Honda people are real winners and so are we. The level of devotion is the same on both sides.”