Jos Verstappen is not in Japan this weekend to attend the race in which his son, Max, could seal his second world title.
The former Formula 1 driver has been instrumental in Max’s career so far, developing the now 25-year-old into a young star from an early age.
Max contested his first single seater season in 2014 at the age of just 16 years, finishing third in the European Formula 3 Championship.
During that year, in Suzuka, the young Dutchman contested a practice session with Toro Rosso as part of the Red Bull junior programme.
This prepared him for his debut campaign in 2015 with the Faenza-based squad, and the rest, as they say, is history.
31 wins have gone the way of Verstappen since he joined Red Bull in 2016, the first of which materialised on his debut in Spain.
His 20th win brought home title number one in Abu Dhabi last season, and another 11 in 2022 have him well on course for his second championship.
After a tough weekend in Singapore last time out, at the end of which Verstappen finished seventh, the reigning champion headed to Japan with a 104-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the title battle.
A win with the fastest lap will take the Red Bull man over the line, and Jos has previously stated his intent to be present at every race so that he can see the second championship come home.
However, Max has since confirmed that his dad is not going to be in Suzuka this weekend, and will instead be spending some quality time at home.
“It’s also important to spend time with the family at home, that’s why he can’t be with everyone. But of course, we talk on the phone every day,” said Verstappen.
Jos has been competing in the Belgian Rally Championship this year, embarking on a new racing challenge having scored two podiums with Benetton in 1994.