Ex-team boss makes huge claim about Max Verstappen’s father

Max Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen raced for seven Formula 1 teams from 1994-2003 but never managed to secure a victory.

Former Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart has claimed that, if the current Formula 1 budget cap rules existed at the time, Jos Verstappen could have had a shot at winning a race, or maybe even a title.

Stoddard ran the Minardi outfit during its final years in Formula 1, with Verstappen racing for the team during his final season in the sport.

At the time, Minardi struggled to financially compete with the other teams, suffering money troubles that made it significantly less competitive than others on the grid.

Minardi was, arguably, saved by Stoddard, ultimately selling in to Red Bull, where it became Toro Rosso and, nowadays, AlphaTauri.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

With the lack of a budget cap making Formula 1 an unfair environment, Stoddard urged the sport to bring in greater fiscal oversight during the 2000s to create a more level playing field.

“We couldn’t, unfortunately, give him the right car, we just didn’t have the money,” Stoddard admitted.

“But that’s where your budget caps would have come into play, because we would have been much more able to spend the money on the car because in those days, we had to fund it all from sponsorship.

“So you were out there all the time getting sponsors.

Article continues below

“Jos… people still say ‘Jos only drove for Minardi because it was the end of his career’ – not true. He drove because he wanted to drive, he drove because he was passionate and had the fire in his belly to keep driving and he did.”

Financial restrictions were ultimately introduced in the form of regulations for the 2021 season, imposing a spending limit. 

However, that wouldn’t keep every team in line, as Red Bull was ultimately penalised by officials for overspending ahead of Max Verstappen’s maiden world title.

READ: Carlos Sainz blasts the FIA

“We’re seeing the budget cap come into play. I’m not saying I agree with all of that,” Stoddard added.

“I certainly don’t agree that things like commercials should be included in it, which can sometimes preclude the sport being promoted.

“[A team] like Red Bull, who had the budget to promote the hell out of it, are finding themselves constrained. But the reality is, on the racing side, we’re seeing all these teams are close, there’s not a two-and-a-half-second gap. There’s not a three-second gap.”