This weekend, Formula 1 returns to the Suzuka circuit for the first time since 2019. Due to the pandemic, there has been no racing in Japan for the past two years. For Red Bull, this will be an already special race. Besides the fact that Verstappen can secure his second world title here, the Suzuka circuit is in fact owned by Honda. The Japanese brand developed the winning engine for Red Bull last year, and is currently still helping to develop their drivetrain.
Verstappen got a special start to his race week when he visited Honda. At a Honda event to promote racing, Verstappen was presented with his father Jos' race car. More than 20 years earlier, Verstappen had also sat in it, when his father still drove for Honda. On Twitter, the reigning world champion proudly shared the pictures.
Jos and Honda had no success in Formula 1
Father Verstappen's car never ended up racing. Jos was under contract to Honda as a test driver in 1999. The plan then was that Honda would not compete in races that season, but only test and develop the car so that it would be competitive right away in 2000. Due to the sudden death of technical director Harvey Postlethwaite and a deal to supply engines to BAR (now Mercedes), the team was disbanded before the start of the season. Jos Verstappen then moved on to Arrows, where he drove for two more seasons.
Back after more than 2️⃣0️⃣ years— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 5, 2022
It was a very special moment today to be back in the car I sat in as a young boy when my dad drove for Honda.
Especially when realizing all the successes we achieved together over the past few years pic.twitter.com/Tt6VHfH5DM