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Jos Verstappen: ''I'd rather see Max win, than myself''

Jos Verstappen: ''I'd rather see Max win, than myself''

26-12-2023 19:00
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Toby McLuskie

Jos Verstappen, the father of Max Verstappen, has been driving rally for a while now. Although he gets a lot of enjoyment out of it, for him it is a nicety and he only drives when he feels like it. His wife and children were a little worried when he started it, and Jos himself says he finds it just as exciting to watch Max, as to drive himself.

A new form of racing is what triggered Jos Verstappen to take up rallying, he tells the Dutch Formule 1 Magazine. What endeared him is the racing itself. ''And everything is new, precisely that aspect triggered me the most. You have to re-learn everything and also go about things completely differently from what you were always used to. You have to communicate with a navigator, you have to make notes, annotations, you get on surfaces you've never raced on before, things like that make it fun and challenging."

Jos the rookie

He now has more than 10 races of experience under his belt, and in doing so he notices that the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Nevertheless, Jos still actually feels like a rookie. "In the end, everything is about experience. In Formula 1 you always drive on the same tracks, you know them at a certain point. Earlier this year I drove a rally where I had driven a year before. That immediately made it a lot easier. You then recognise parts from the previous time. Experience, that's something I really still lack. I'm suddenly a kind of rookie again."

When he told at home that he was going rallying, his wife and children wished him lots of fun above all. They did not tell him to be careful, because Jos has never heard that before, he jokes. ''No, that - I have to be careful - I have never heard that. Maybe they want to get rid of me soon, haha. But seriously, they obviously know how much I'm into it and how much I love it. They want me to look out, but also to do the things I like."

No shortage of adrenaline

Jos goes on to say that he has had no shortage of adrenaline for years off the track with Max and that he would rather see Max win, than himself. "Believe me, with Max I felt that adrenaline too. But now he has reached a stage where I don't have to do anything anymore and the time has come for myself to start doing fun things. And I really like this. Because I do need that adrenaline a bit. The feeling of racing yourself in a car cannot be compared to the feeling you have when you are standing next to the track. It's very different. No, not more exciting. Watching Max I find just as exciting as racing myself. And I'd rather Max wins than myself. But of course, the best thing is when it goes together: Max winning in a Formula 1 car, me in a rally car. That's our goal every time."