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Gijs van Lennep enjoys Verstappen's performance: 'Outclassed'

Gijs van Lennep enjoys Verstappen's performance: 'Outclassed'

01-01-2023 12:29 Last update: 17:06


Gijs van Lennep, in conversation with the AD at length about Max Verstappen. The former Formula 1 driver calls the two-time world champion one of an exceptional category and hopes to enjoy the Red Bull Racing driver's achievements for a long time to come.

During his long career, Van Lennep gained a lot of knowledge about driving fast cars. The former driver won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, in 1971 with current Red Bull Racing chief Helmut Marko and in 1976 with Belgium's Jacky Ickx. He crossed the finish line in a Formula 1 race seven times. And driving hard he still does, this year he managed to finish second at the Tulip Rally.


Van Lennep recently reached the respective age of 80 and hopes to enjoy what Verstappen shows for a while yet. Because what his young compatriot is currently performing makes him a happy man. "Max is so much better than I've everbeen," he admits. "He is of the outer category. And he has only just started, is my opinion." The motorsport legend therefore thinks that as long as Verstappen still feels like it, he will definitely become world champion six more times. He then also expects more records to be broken: "Hamilton's record of most grands prix won has to go. He can easily achieve that, but he has to keep going.''

Great, but rock-hard sport

Van Lennep especially enjoys the way Verstappen controls his car. Something he himself has put so much time and energy into throughout his life. Van Lennep praises Verstappen for his 'car control' and thinks that the Red Bull driver owes this in part to the fact that he has been in a kart since he was five years old. He also praises father Jos Verstappen. "His father trained him wonderfully and it's fantastic to see. That's why I hope I can stay with it for years to come. That I can still experience it all." Asked if Verstappen's achievements emotionally affect him, the 80-year-old former racing driver says he enjoys them immensely but should not cry over them. "It's great, but sport is also rock hard. So I remain seated when he wins. I cheer for a moment and think it's beautiful. But I'm not going to be idiotic.''