While his son, Max Verstappen, continues his powerful run in Formula 1, Jos Verstappen, an erstwhile teammate to Michael Schumacher, has returned to his racing roots.
Consistently by Max’s side during his initial F1 years, the senior Verstappen, 51, is less often spotted at F1 circuits these days. Instead, he’s been revving up his own rally car for the Belgian championship.
Jos acknowledges that Max doesn’t need him constantly by his side at the F1 circuits, so he’s finding his own “adrenaline” in rally racing.
“Believe me, I felt that adrenaline rush when I was with Max,” he told the Dutch magazine Formule 1.
“But he has now reached a phase where I no longer have to do anything and the time has come for myself to do fun things again,” Verstappen stated. “Because I still need that adrenaline a bit.
“The feeling of racing in a car yourself cannot be compared to the feeling you have when you are standing next to the track. It’s very different.
“No, racing is not more exciting. I find watching Max just as exciting as racing myself. And I’d rather Max win than me.
“But the best part of course is when Max wins in a Formula 1 car and I win in a rally car. That is our goal every time,” Jos Verstappen said.
He has now competed in over 10 lower-league rallies, seizing his first top spot in his Skoda Fabia RS at the beginning of May. He secured another victory the previous Saturday in the Belgian Rally Championship.
“I think in a year or two I can really compete at the top Belgian level,” Verstappen remarked. “If you look at world level, I come up short and I don’t mind that.
“I enjoy watching WRC, but I have no ambitions in that direction. I took part in a WRC rally once last year, in Ypres, but that kept me busy for a whole week. Then I notice how long I am away from home for.
“I’m fine with the way things are going now,” he commented.
“Our team is called Verstappen.com Racing and we get support from Red Bull. We have a nice team with nice people and it’s not always like that.
“I mean, we decide where we drive. That’s the fun part, I think. I want to do it seriously and as well as possible, but above all it has to be enjoyable and not cause any frustration.
“I invest a lot of time in it but if it’s not fun, it’s a waste of time.”