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A catch-up with Jos about Max: 'Only one thing counts: winning'

Published on 28 May 2024 by Stefan Meens

After securing his third world championship in succession, Max Verstappen started the 2024 season in a similar fashion by winning. Despite rival teams upping their game, the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver still holds a comfortable lead in the points standings. “Yes, you see that this year it’s more challenging to make the difference with the competition closing in”, says Jos Verstappen in an exclusive interview with

Max makes winning look easy, which of course it is not.  Apart from a good car and a good team, what does the driver need to bring? “Every weekend, you have to perform at 100%”, explains Jos. "Everything has to be right, from being fit to working well with your engineer. It’s all about the details.”

Max broke record after record on his way to his third world title. How special is it what he’s achieved? “I don’t think everyone realises how much Max needs to do to perform like this. It’s not something that just happens. The competitors have not got it together as much as they wanted and they appreciate what Max has done. What he’s shown in 2023 is unique and I think it should valued.”

Looking back, Max has made a huge development, from go karts to now. Can he still improve? “That’s a difficult question to answer. With experience you can improve, but can he get much better? I don’t know. I think Max was ready to be a world champion at 21. How good was he already?”

When Max moved to Monaco when he was 18. That literally created distance between the two of you. How was it to let go of him? “Initially I was always around Max, day and night. But when he turned 18, he had to go into the real world himself. I struggled to let go a lot. But you have to let go of your children at some point. They make their own decisions. Luckily, we still regularly phone and we are able to discuss everything.”

As a person, Max has always been mature beyond his years. How would you characterise him? “Max is a really sweet guy”, smiles Jos. “But as soon as he puts the visor down, he turns into a lion. He is really driven and the only thing that counts is winning. That’s always been inside him.”

Verstappen senior adds: “What I see in Max now, I’d seen in go karts. But off-track, I see a very relaxed guy, almost looking like he doesn’t really care. When Max was still in go karts, I was worried about that, but that’s just his way of preparing. He doesn’t want to be occupied with lots of things. ‘We’ll see’ is Max’s approach.”