Jos – a former F1 driver himself – played a pivotal role in Max’s career through karting and up until F1.
In a recent interview with GQ, the current Red Bull driver recounted a story from his junior career when he made a crucial mistake in a karting title-decider.
“Basically, I fucked up,” Max explained. “I misjudged the place where I wanted to pass the guy in the lead, and—too much risk.
“I could have waited one more lap, two more laps, and I would’ve passed the guy, and I would’ve just taken off and that would’ve been it. But, yeah. So I crashed. And that was it, no world championship.”
Verstappen revealed after that Jos left him alone at a fuel station because he was so angry about what happened in the finale.
“My dad, he put so much effort into it over the years to that point. So that if I got there it would all be ready to go. And that’s why he was so angry,” Max added. “I kept trying to get into a conversation with him about why I did it and what I thought of the situation.
“But then at one point he was like, ‘Max, if you don’t shut up now I’m kicking you out.’ And, of course, I didn’t think he would do that. So I kept on talking, trying to talk to him. Next fuel station he stops and he’s like, ‘Get out!.”
Jos would eventually go back to pick him up but a clear indication of his “harsh” behaviour.
Even so, Max was quick to defend his father’s actions, admitting he’s “very happy that I had that kind of treatment.”
“I mean, it sounds horrible,” he explained. “Like, it sounds a bit horrible. Like, some people probably cannot deal with that kind of behaviour, but I needed it. I was that type of character, probably, who needed this kind of treatment.”
“Of course, from the outside it sounds sometimes a bit harsh. But I’m very happy that I had that kind of treatment.
“I was just a lot more on it, in terms of just being more professional about it. That definitely came from my dad, because if he wasn’t my dad, I would also be running around, playing, having fun. And I need that kind of push.”