In the midst of Max Verstappen’s dominant performance in Formula 1, his father, Jos Verstappen, a former teammate to the legendary Michael Schumacher, has shifted his focus back to his own racing endeavours.
While Jos was a constant presence at Max’s side during his early F1 career, the 51-year-old racing veteran is now pursuing a different kind of adrenaline rush in the world of rally car racing within the Belgian championship.
Jos Verstappen acknowledges that his son has reached a point in his career where his presence at Formula 1 races is no longer essential, allowing him to seek excitement elsewhere.
Speaking to the Dutch magazine Formule 1, Jos Verstappen shared his sentiments, saying, “Believe me, I felt that adrenaline rush when I was with Max.
“But he has now reached a phase where I no longer have to do anything, and the time has come for myself to do fun things again.”
Reflecting on the stark contrast between watching his son compete and being behind the wheel himself, Verstappen explained:
“The feeling of racing in a car yourself cannot be compared to the feeling you have when you are standing next to the track. It’s very different.
“No, racing is not more exciting.
“I find watching Max just as exciting as racing myself.
“And I’d rather Max win than me.”
Jos Verstappen went on to express his ultimate goal, which is to see Max triumph in Formula 1 while he secures victories in rally car racing, stating, “But the best part, of course, is when Max wins in a Formula 1 car and I win in a rally car.
“That is our goal every time.”
Jos Verstappen’s rally racing journey has seen him compete in over 10 lower-category rallies, achieving his first victory in his Skoda Fabia RS at the beginning of May.
His recent success continued with another win in the Belgian Rally Championship last Saturday.
Looking ahead, Jos Verstappen has realistic expectations for his rally racing career, remarking, “I think in a year or two I can really compete at the top Belgian level.
“If you look at the world level, I come up short, and I don’t mind that.
“I enjoy watching WRC, but I have no ambitions in that direction.”
Regarding his participation in the WRC, Verstappen admitted, “I took part in a WRC rally once last year, in Ypres, but that kept me busy for a whole week.
“Then I notice how long I am away from home for.
“I’m fine with the way things are going now.”
Verstappen.com Racing, the team Jos Verstappen competes for, enjoys support from Red Bull, and he appreciates the flexibility it offers.
He emphasised, “We decide where we drive.
“That’s the fun part, I think.
“I want to do it seriously and as well as possible, but above all, it has to be enjoyable and not cause any frustration.
“I invest a lot of time in it, but if it’s not fun, it’s a waste of time.”