Jos Verstappen has admitted he might have been "a little too hard" on son Max when he was climbing the motorsport ladder, but that "he needed it" to progress. A well-known anecdote about the Verstappens is that father Jos left Max behind and alone at a petrol station at a young age, following a costly mistake at a karting event. Jos turned around after a few minutes to go back and collect Max, who has previously claimed that the incident helped to toughen him up. Several years later, Verstappen progressed to F1 and, in 2021, achieved his dream of becoming World Champion after a season-long fight with Lewis Hamilton.
Jos Verstappen looks back on raising Max
Reflecting on his son's journey to the top, and the role he played, Verstappen senior feels there were likely occasions where he overstepped the mark. "If you look back on that now, sometimes I was maybe a little too hard," he told ServusTV , before defending his approach. "In the moment itself, that felt like the right thing to do and maybe he needed it a little bit, too, because he is stubborn. "I also really believe that it made him better. He needed that regularly. "In the following year it made him better again. He became World Champion, two-time European Champion, and had won all the races along the way. "At all times he was learning a lot and I believe that makes him very mature for his age."
Jos Verstappen: Max is much better than me
Asked if Max is more talented than he ever was, the 50-year-old gave a clear answer. "Absolutely. Also, I can teach him everything, but he must have the talent himself, and he has that," continued Jos, who raced for the likes of Benetton, Tyrrell and Minardi in F1. "He is smarter than me and processes everything better. I really believe he is much better than me. "I know when I look in the mirror what mistakes I made in my career. I try to filter them out with him." As for Max's opinion of his father's methods, he insists they "prepared me for everything". "At some points, it was a hard school, but a fair one," he jumped in. "He prepared me for everything. I never encountered anything I didn't know how to handle."