Dutch GP: Max Verstappen reveals special helmet design in tribute to father

Max Verstappen holds a commanding championship lead heading into this weekend's 2022 Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen’s helmet is going to look a little different this weekend, as he has chosen a design that honours his father, Jos.

Jos began his Formula 1 career in 1994 with Benetton, scoring two podiums in Hungary and Belgium, before leaving for Simtek a year later.

An unsuccessful season with them due to a poor package led him to Footwork, with whom he scored a point at the 1996 Argentinian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman traversed a season with Tyrell in 1997 that sadly yielded no points, and he contested the second half of the 1998 campaign with the Stewart team which would go on to become Jaguar, and now Red Bull.

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Two seasons with Arrows in 1999 and 2000 brought three more points finishes for the Dutchman, and he ended his career in 2003 with Minardi, which is now Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri.

The now 50-year-old went on to win Le Mans twice in the LMP2 class, and has this year been competing in the Belgian Rally Championship.

Max made his debut in 2015 with Toro Rosso, 12 years after Jos had driver for the team under its Minardi guise, and he quickly made his way up to Red Bull partway through the 2016 campaign.

The now 24-year-old has won 29 races, including his victory on his Red Bull debut in Barcelona, and he was crowned world champion last season after his unbelievable title battle with Sir Lewis Hamilton.

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Jos has been there every step of the way for his son, from his karting career all the way up to now.

Many moments of support and tough love alike have led the reigning champion to where he is now and, at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, the Dutchman will wear a special helmet dedicated to his father.

“It’s another special helmet reveal time,” said Verstappen in a video on social media. 

“As you can see here, I have one of my dad’s old helmets here next to me, and of course the Dutch Grand Prix is coming up and I thought this year would be a great time to appreciate all the efforts my dad made for me when I was a little kid, to bring me where I am today… winning the World Championship.

“Of course, with the Dutch Grand Prix coming up, we made a new version of it – of course with the Red Bull on the side – but you can see the old helmet design coming through, of my dad, on the back as well, with his original logo on it on the back, and my lion logo on the top.

“It’s a bit emotional as well, but I think it’s just really special to drive something like this because it’s also how I started in go-karting.

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“All the old pictures I have of go-karting is with this iconic design, so that’s why we thought it was a great idea to bring this back alive around Zandvoort.

“I hope a lot of Dutchies and also fans of my dad back in the day will appreciate this helmet…”

Verstappen heads into his home race with a 93-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Standings after winning nine races so far this season.