Max Verstappen delves into his unique upbringing, being raised by two racing parents and sharing moments with the Schumacher family.
During the 1990s, Max’s father, Jos Verstappen, formed a close bond with the renowned F1 legend Michael Schumacher, solidifying a special connection between the Verstappen and Schumacher legacies.
Recalling precious memories, Verstappen fondly shares that there were instances when their families embarked on joint outings, as he reminisces in his conversation with The Times: “I remember a few holidays. I was quite small; I didn’t know he [Michael Schumacher] was seven-times world champion. He was more like Uncle Michael walking around.
“He was very nice, easygoing. Simple. People think that everything is always magic and there is a lot of glitter and glamour around, but it’s just family people together.”
Despite his desire to create a stronger connection with his young son, Mick, during their trips, Michael faced a significant hurdle in the form of a language barrier that prevented them from truly bonding as the junior Verstappen.
“I remember we had a holiday in Norway where we did ski, but it was minus 26 at one point so we were more like playing indoors,” Verstappen explained. “And we didn’t even know how to communicate at the time because he was speaking German and I was speaking Dutch.
“Then we each started our go-karting careers. At one point we saw each other on the go-karting tracks again. It was a bit hit and miss, but sometimes we’d talk about back in the day.”
Jos Verstappen is widely recognized for his triumphant career at the pinnacle of motorsport. Sophie Kumpen, the wife of Jos Verstappen, also possessed impressive skills behind the wheel.
In her racing days, she achieved a remarkable feat by outperforming Christian Horner, who now holds the esteemed position of Red Bull team principal and happens to be her son’s boss.
“They were very different. My dad was more aggressive; you could tell it from how he was sitting in the go-kart and the way he was driving,” Max Verstappen remarked when analyzing the driving styles of his parents.
He continued: “My mum was more on the clean side. That has to do a bit with how much strength you have. I spoke to my mum about it and sometimes she was struggling a bit for strength; she was small compared to the guys. Then you can’t force the go-kart, you have to find another way.”