Jos Verstappen who himself has a sporadic F1 career between 1994 and 2003 thinks his son Max is exceeding the performance of his Red Bull RB16B Formula 1 car.
While many expected Max Verstappen and Red Bull to beat Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton this season, it is the latter pair that have so far exerted their dominance over the field. The senior Verstappen fears that Mercedes might use their current momentum to build an unassailable gap to Red Bull despite his son outperforming the capabilities of the RB16B challenger.
"Max makes that car look better than it really is," Verstappen told De Telegraaf.
"Look at his teammates. Gasly, Albon and now Pérez, they are really no pancakes. But somehow Max is doing something exceptional. At Red Bull, they also see how good he is. If you put Max and Lewis in the same car, there is no doubt in my mind who is better.
The elder Verstappen also highlights how his son's need to push might actually hamper his races.
"Max wants more than the car can do," Verstappen continued.
"Then he might go just outside the track where it is not allowed, although I find the rules with the track limits often unclear anyway. But I don't think this is a mistake. You can see that Max is doing everything he can.
"The only thing Max can do is drive as hard as possible and I think he is showing that."
Verstappen proceeded to describe how Red Bull are trying to play the long game as they seek to contineously develop their car throughout the season.
"Within Red Bull there is no frustration yet," Verstappen explained.
"They say: 'it's still a long season.' I personally think Mercedes is a lot faster in qualifying as well, but Max squeezes so much out of it that it is still so close.
The difference in speed in the race as we have seen in the last races is also there on Saturday in qualifying. Max and his race engineer still manage to get everything out of that car on that one, fast lap. In the race they try to do the same. But then the tyres wear out quicker.
"We hope Red Bull will come up with new updates soon, which will improve the car. The championship is a marathon, so we can still turn it around."