Jos: ‘Mad Max’ mode is not a sign of weakness

Sam Cooper
Jos and Max Verstappen arriving at the track. Jeddah, March 2022.

Jos Verstappen has said the aggressive style in which Max Verstappen drove during the Spanish Grand Prix has “brought him a lot.”

Max Verstappen has been criticised for his outbursts during his DRS troubles in Barcelona as he was heard shouting “We can’t even make the f***ing DRS work, unbelievable!” down the team radio.

His boss, Christian Horner, described it as “road rage” but did say it was “understandable” given Verstappen said he pushed the DRS button 50 times during one straight with no joy.

Max’s father Jos has defended his son and pointed towards the fact that an aggressive approach has been key to the success of the Red Bull driver’s career to date.

“It was extremely hot. That makes it difficult for a driver to manage his tyres and then Max had problems with the DRS system that didn’t work,” the 50-year-old wrote in his column on Verstappen’s official website.

“You could clearly hear the frustration in his voice. And I could also see it in the way he drove. Then he drives a bit more aggressively, he wants more. That style of driving has brought him a lot in the past.”

 

Torquing Point: Max Verstappen's mixed race in Spain - Spanish GP Conclusions

Max Verstappen had an up-and-down race in Spain. It started with him flying off into the gravel and complaining about his Red Bull car not working properly, and ended with him on the top step of the podium.

Verstappen also praised Red Bull and their ability to think on their feet when it came to his son’s strategy.

“I have to say that I think Red Bull solved it [the lack of DRS] insanely well. They changed the strategy. The decision to put Max on the softest tyre for the second time – in the third stint – gave him the chance to push. That way he grabbed his lead.

“I could understand his frustration at the start of the race. If things don’t go his way because of a problem, he’s the kind of guy who expresses his dissatisfaction. There is nothing wrong with that as far as I am concerned. He asks the utmost from the team, but that goes both ways. That’s why they are so successful together.”

Having seen his son win his first World Championship in 2021, Jos Verstappen now finds his son back on top of this year’s Drivers’ Standings with a six-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Looking ahead to the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, Jos said Ferrari had the better car over one lap, which could be crucial for qualifying at a track like Monaco.

“I am happy that Max is leading the championship now, but it could be different story next week. Ferrari is very fast, especially in qualifying. When it comes to one lap, they have a better car. Max is very strong in the race and sometimes things have to go his way. Ferrari has also benefited in the past from his dropouts.

“In Monaco I expect Ferrari to be strong as well. It will be a very interesting weekend again. In Barcelona it also became clear that Mercedes has definitely made a big step forward. At the same time, the difference in the race compared to us was still four tenths of a second. They still have some work to do there, but we are not sitting still either.”