Max Verstappen wouldn’t take father’s approach for his kids to reach Formula 1

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen talking to Jos at the Abu Dhabi GP. Yas Marina December 2021.

Max Verstappen talking to his father Jos at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina December 2021.

Max Verstappen has said he will opt for a different approach when coaching his kids than when his own father, Jos Verstappen, did with him.

Jos has a reputation as a hard taskmaster with the most notable example coming after Max had crashed out of a kart race and his father abandoned him at an Italian petrol station.

While question marks have been raised at how fair it is to treat a young child that way, there can be no question that Jos’ techniques worked with Max as the former F1 driver would go on to watch his son become a two-time World Champion.

Max has plenty of time left to add to that tally but has been thinking of the future and said that when he has children, he will opt for different teaching methods should they want to get into racing.

“I definitely want children and if they want to race, that’s fine,” he told Dutch newspaper De Limburger. “I do think I would do it differently than how my father and I handled it.

“I don’t really see that at the moment. But for me it’s easy talk because I don’t have kids. Maybe I will think very differently when the time comes. But, the passion he had went a long way.

“He did everything for me. Tuning engines, preparing karts. I don’t see myself doing that. Anyway, I’m not going to push my kids to race. They have to want it themselves. And if you do go for it with your son or daughter, I don’t think you can drive Formula 1 yourself anymore. You have to start laying the groundwork from the age of four. I want to be there myself.”


Verstappen’s father has been getting back behind the wheel at various events throughout the year and Max said he keeps an eye out on his dad’s times to make sure he is okay.

“I always tell him to watch out,” Max said of Jos who made his World Rally Championship debut in August.

“He always says the same to me, by the way. Look, he always wants to do it the best he can, with all the risks that entails. I say: you don’t have to do it anymore. You don’t have to win. You can also have fun if you sometimes take 1 percent less risk. There are relatively many accidents in rallying. You write off at least one car a year.

“The races he does are slightly safer than some races in the world championship, but still… I always follow him via live timing and then I am happy every time he comes through, yes. Relieved too? Still a little bit.”

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