Max Verstappen is in his third year in Formula 1 and has set several records along the way. A lot of this boils down to the influence of his father, former F1 driver Jos Verstappen.
Verstappen entered the sport in 2015, after taking an unusual route into the series. A successful karting career led to a season in Formula 3 before being snapped up by Red Bull and slotted into the Toro Rosso team. It
It led to a highly successful first year in the sport, ultimately landing him a Red Bull seat in 2016 and a memorable win that year in Spain. Racing under the Dutch flag, the glamour of Formula 1 is a long way from his past and a not so ordinary childhood, with his father Jos a racing driver too.
“Every day when I got out of school I got to the workshop and I saw my dad preparing my engines again for my chassis. He was always letting me clean the chassis as well. Not only just to clean it, but to understand how everything worked”.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) September 15, 2017
The win last year and that incredible wet weather drive in Brazil announced Verstappen’s arrival in the sport, but unlike many racing drivers, his biggest influencer was not Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher, but his dad.
Father Jos raced with several teams but only managed two podiums despite his speed. He gave up his racing career to help Max’s own and helped his son all the way through karting before finally securing a seat at the Red Bull team, and now takes less of a role in his son’s racing activities.
“I’ve never really watched other drivers, except for my dad. I wouldn’t call him an idol, he’s basically just my dad, my friend, my teacher, so I couldn’t really call him an idol anymore. I’m an improvement on my dad and he calls me Verstappen 2.0!”.
2017 has been a very frustrating year for Verstappen, bearing the brunt of the unreliability at Red Bull and taking out teammate Daniel Ricciardo in Hungary. Victory could have been possible in Baku and several other podiums have gone to waste, his only one of the year being in Shanghai.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) September 3, 2017
But with the support network of his dad and the team around him, a refreshed Verstappen will be ready to attack the final few races of the 2017 season. And a hungry Max Verstappen is a dangerous Max Verstappen. Surely it is time for him to be back on the podium in Formula 1. But we must be thankful for his father for allowing us to enjoy witnessing the spectacle of an attacking Max Verstappen.