Former Formula 1 driver, Jos Verstappen, needed to adapt to having a co-driver in the car alongside him while contesting the Ypres Rally Belgium in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Verstappen entered the Belgian Rally Championship at the start of this season after watching his son, Max, lift the Formula 1 trophy last year following his mammoth fight with Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutchman finished eighth on his debut in a Citroen C3 alongside Kris Botson, before retiring from the second event – the south Belgian Rally.
The Ypres Rally Belgium makes up part of the official WRC calendar, so the likes of Ott Tanak, Elfyn Evans and Oliver Solberg were involved.
Verstappen finished a mightily impressive 60th after the 20-stage-rally, and ended up under a minute adrift of winners Tanak and Martin Jarjeova in their Hyundai i20.
They were driving a top-of-the-range Rally1 car, something that Verstappen would love to do, but he concedes that it takes a lot of skill and bravery to compete in one.
“I would like to try one but when I see those guys going, it is insane,” he said, quoted by speedcafe.com.
“I would like to try, but I do not want to go against the Rally1 guys, WRC2 cars are good.”
Having enjoyed his taste of top tier WRC action, the two-time podium finisher in F1 outlined his plans to help out the DG Sport team going forward.
“It is important for us to have the good people around,” stated Verstappen.
“I would like to do something with DG Sport as I like the team and they need another driver to do WRC because it is very expensive.
“I would like to do a couple of races in WRC, maybe three, four or five and then do a couple of races in Belgium.”
Racing with a co-driver, Verstappen found, is very different to racing alone with an engineer in your ear giving information, so that was something the former Arrows and Benetton driver had to adapt to.
“I really had to learn that somebody was talking to me,” said Verstappen.
“When I was in single-seaters, I didn’t like when the engineer was speaking to me during the race – and now they are speaking all the time to me.
“I’ve had to get used to it, but it was a really hard time at the start to understand what everything means and what to do.
“On a rally, you’re busy all the time and you need to drive fast.”
Harri Rovanpera continues to lead the WRC standings after nine events out of 13, with the Finn ending the Belgian Rally 62nd, two places behind Verstappen.
The 21-year-old holds a 72-point lead over Estonian Tanak.