Max Verstappen’s father has launched an attack on Daniel Ricciardo and revealed a rift between his son and the Australian during last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
The Dutchman dominated the weekend as he topped practice before becoming the runaway winner of Sunday’s race, and was only bested once – by Ricciardo in qualifying.
Ricciardo, who is leaving Red Bull for Renault at the end of the year, has had a season full of frustration and retirements – the eighth of which came in the Mexican GP – leading to an emotional post-race rant where he freely offered his seat to 2019 replacement Pierre Gasly and claimed there was no point him competing in the final two races of the season.
Ricciardo’s reliability issues managed subsided long enough for him to qualify for the race on pole with a stunning last-gasp lap to snatch it from Verstappen, something that has angered the 21-year-old’s father Jos – as well as Max himself.
“I was not really happy myself, but I spoke to him (Max) before bedtime,” Verstappen told Ziggo Sport. “I tried to calm him down a bit, he was particularly angry because the car was out of order. That pole position is nice, but winning is of course much more important.
“He was especially annoyed by missing the pole and by the car, but also by Ricciardo. He celebrated his pole position with an exuberance as if he had become world champion. He (Max) was very angry.
“He was greatly exasperated and wanted only one thing, that was winning the race.”
Verstappen led the race from the first turn to finish in an exemplary drive but these latest claims just serve to add more fuel to the fire that all is not right between Red Bull and Ricciardo.
Since Ricciardo’s announcement that he would be leaving the team, he has suffered four DNFs in seven races.