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F1 2022

Jos Verstappen set for motorsport comeback

Max Verstappen's ex-F1 driver father is making a return to racing at the age of 49, driving a Citroen in the opening round of the 2022 Belgian Rally Championship.

Max Verstappen's father Jos is to return to competitive racing in 2022, when he gets behind the wheel of a Citroen C3 R5 for the first round of the 2022 Belgian Rally Championship (BRC), the Rally of Haspengouw on 26 February.

According to Max Verstappen's official website, Jos's interest in rallying has increased over time, and the 49-year-old was set to make his rally debut at Assen last year at an event that was ultimately lost to the pandemic.

"I am really looking forward to it and I have noticed that I really like rallying, especially because it's very unpredictable," Jos was quoted as saying by Verstappen.com.

"Of course, I am very driven by nature and I have the support of a top team, but I will have to find my own limits again.

"I want to get it right, but the reason I am stepping into this rally adventure is that it brings me joy."

Formula 1 and beyond

Verstappen senior competed in 106 F1 Grands Prix for seven different teams between 1994 and 2003, notably partnering Michael Schumacher at Benetton in 1994 when the German won the first of his seven World Championship titles.

After F1, Verstappen drove for Team Netherlands in the short-lived A1GP series before turning his hand to sports cars, taking class wins in both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the overall Le Mans Series championship in 2008.

Since 2009, Jos's time has mostly been spent managing and overseeing the racing career of son Max, and the Dutchman is under no illusions about the size of the task awaiting him as he returns to competitive motorsport.

"Rally driving is really done on experience. Gaining this experience will be the biggest challenge," he added.

"This not comparable to anything from my motorsport career; for me, everything is new, from the car to the method of working, creating and using pace notes, listening to instructions whilst driving and getting to know all the stages.

"There is no or very little opportunity to explore the circuit, so you have to be up to speed right away, whilst on the other hand avoiding unnecessary risks."

Jos is said to be aiming to spend 2022 competing in a selection of rallies from both the BRC and the international World Rally Championship.

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