‘My dad said I would be a truck driver’: Max Verstappen reveals strong words from his father

Max Verstappen is the reigning world champion after his controversial victory over Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has revealed the motivational words his father Jos gave him during his junior racing career.

Jos raced with Arrows and Benetton in his career, ending on the podium six times, both arriving in 1994.

Three years later, he and then partner Sophie Kumpen had a son named Max, and he would burst onto the Formula 1 scene 17 years later. 

The Dutchman won 10 races in Formula 3 in his first-ever single seater season in 2014, ending the championship third in an almost unprecedented show of young astronomical talent.

He contested FP1 in Suzuka that year with Toro Rosso, and raced with the Italian side in 2015 alongside Carlos Sainz.

READ: Fans caught ‘stealing’ at 2022 British GP

Verstappen went on to join Red Bull partway through 2016 when Daniil Kvyat was dropped following two incidents with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who won all four of his world titles with Red Bull – and he has since claimed 26 victories with the Austrian side.

The 24-year-old won the title in dramatic fashion in 2021, already cementing his place among the all-time elite, but it has not always been plain sailing.

After a bad result in a karting race, Jos once left Max at a gas station when they argued about his performance, and Kumpen had to go and pick him up and take him home.

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Now, Max has disclosed a conversation he had with Jos when he was young, in the form of a motivational speech of a different kind.

“My dad never said I was going to be a champion, he was always the opposite,” he told Channel 4.

“He would tell me I was going to be a truck driver or like a bus driver.

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“All the way to Formula 1 I still didn’t work hard enough in his eyes because I have a bit more of a relaxed personality compared to him in terms of how I approach a weekend.”

The Red Bull driver believes that the verbal hits he took from his father as a youngster has toughened him up for the criticism he often receives today.

“I was winning my races and stuff, but he said it’s not enough to be successful in Formula 1,” explained Verstappen.

“I think that prepared me in a way very well for criticism or noise.”

Verstappen leads the Drivers’ Standings by 34 points from team-mate Sergio Perez after 10 rounds of the 2022 season, salvaging a point from the British Grand Prix last time out after picking up damage to his floor from a piece of debris while leading.

His Red Bull team travel to their home race this weekend in Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix.