Jos frustrated by Belgian media’s sudden allegiance to Max

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen in a press conference.

Jos Verstappen is unhappy that the Belgian media are suddenly taking his son Max Verstappen as their own now that he is World Champion.

Max races in Formula 1 under the Dutch flag, following on from his father Jos, though he was actually born in Hasselt, Belgium, while his mother is also from Belgium.

Nonetheless Verstappen is very much acknowledged as a Dutchman in Formula 1, with his fans kitted out in orange following him across the Formula 1 calendar.

And in 2021, he reached the summit of Formula 1 by clinching his first Drivers’ Championship at the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Understandably, that has meant the attention on Verstappen has shot up to an all-time high, including over in Belgium, which has left Jos a little frustrated.

He felt that the media in Belgium did not used to have much interest in Max…that was until he became champion.

Max Verstappen holds the Dutch flag aloft. December 2021.

“Everyone wants a piece of Max at the moment,” Jos is quoted by GPFans as having told De Telegraaf.

“On the one hand, that’s a nice compliment for him. He’s doing incredibly well. In the car, but also outside. He comes across well, has a fresh head and remains himself.

“So I understand that a lot of people are proud. Of course I am. But at some points I do have trouble with it.

“For example, in the eyes of some Belgian media, Max is suddenly a Belgian. I think that’s a bit weak.

“We have been racing for years, but until a few months ago there was little or no writing about him in Belgium and now they suddenly claim that he is theirs. I absolutely don’t see it that way myself.”

 

Jos explained that his son also continues to very much consider himself a Dutchman, even if he does have dual-citizenship thanks to his parents.

“The situation is that Max has both nationalities, because me and Sophie were married at the time he was born,” Jos continued.

“But since he races under a Dutch license, he is slightly more Dutch than Belgian. That’s how he feels it himself.

“If the Netherlands has to play against Belgium, he is for the Orange. And if he is eighteen and has to choose, it will be for the Dutch nationality.”

 

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