Max Verstappen has said that he's happy with his father Jos' hard parenting style, believing that it has toughened him up for the tough mental battle of a Formula 1 title fight.
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 meet. Max was upset as a child, but says he can laugh about it today.
"Now yes, but then it was not so funny," said Verstappen in conversation with Sky Sports F1.
"There is nothing worse than what I experienced then!" he laughed.
Jos did turn around after a few minutes to go back and collect Max from the petrol station, with the Red Bull driver saying that the fright of the incident worked effectively to toughen him up.
"I think that was good for me at the time. It hardens you," he continued.
"My father handled things in a way that I found very strict at the time, but today I'm just glad he did it that way. It prepared me well for what's happening now."
Max Verstappen is now the leading light in Dutch sport, and leads the Driver's Championship. Rivalling Dutch footballer Johan Cruijff for top spot in the public's eye, Verstappen is a reluctant hero of the Netherlands.
"It is difficult to compare sports," he said.
"In any case, I never started with this with the aim of becoming a (sports) icon. I just loved what I did. karting, later it was about making it to Formula 1 and doing my best.
"I do now and I want to enjoy that and look back on a career I can be proud of."