Jos Verstappen: Max is a natural

Date published: November 17 2016

Jos Verstappen says the way his son Max performed in the Brazilian Grand Prix is not something that can be taught.

The Red Bull driver drew wide plaudits for his superb showing at a wet and treacherous Interlagos over the weekend, charging through the field after a late pitstop for fresh wet tyres to secure third place.

While his father Jos – a former F1 driver himself – knew his son was talented, he admits to being surprised at what the youngster was able to do.

“I know him a lot and we’ve done a lot of races together,” he told Autosport. “It was unbelievable.

“When he made that extra stop I thought ‘OK, this race is gone’.

“But then he started racing and I haven’t seen anything like that.

“Some people say [Ayrton] Senna did something like that at Donington [in 1993]. I don’t know, but it was incredible.

“If you really watch carefully the way he was driving, and which lines he was taking, he was the only driver in the whole field who was doing that.

“You can’t teach that, but if you really analyse the whole thing, you analyse the first six laps behind the safety car he was everywhere.

“It looked like he was pushing Kimi [Raikkonen], but he was looking for grip.”

Prior to the Sunday’s race, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff was widely criticised after it emerged that he had called Jos, allegedly to ask him to help convince his son not to interfere in the title race between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

But Jos said the entire situation was overblown and that he did not return to the paddock in Brazil last week after a four-race absence because of the phone call.

“The fact I’m back is nothing to do with the phone call or whatever,” he added.

“You can see it two different ways, but it’s OK.

“I get along very well with Toto, so what happened is absolutely no problem. He is a friend.

“There was no frustration with the stories. Max keeps the whole Formula 1 world talking. It’s good for Formula 1 and good for Max.

“He was preparing himself, and [third place] is the result of that. Also his car control. It’s everything together. Preparation, everything.”