“A lot of people have no idea,” Jos Verstappen reveals why he abandoned a 14-year-old Max Verstappen in a gas station for losing a race

Jos Verstappen has guided Max Verstappen throughout his motorsport career and has helped him become a two-time world champion.


“A lot of people have no idea,” Jos Verstappen reveals why he abandoned a 14-year-old Max Verstappen in a gas station for losing a race

Jos and young Max Verstappen (via Red Bull)

Jos Verstappen, father to World champion Max Verstappen has responded to claims condemning him of abandoning 14-year-old Max at a gas station in 2012 after a race incident. ‘Max Verstappen: Anatomy of a Champion’ is a docu-series that showcases behind-the-scenes aspects of the life the Champion has led, and provides insight into his childhood. The father and son opened up about the incident in the documentary series.

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The incident in question has been in the media spotlight ever since Verstappen triumphed in the championship in 2021. Max Verstappen provided more context regarding the incident, attributing it to the KZ2 World Final, He explained, “I stayed in the lead at the start, but then I got passed. I was so upset that I got overtaken that in that same lap I tried to pass the guy back in a place which is just totally unnecessary.” He went on to talk about how his father was so disappointed in him that, he was fed up with him, and made him get off at a gas station and abandon him.

Jos Verstappen has denied the allegation and justified his behavior by saying he was being hard on him to make him the champion. He insisted, “I never abused him. I was teaching him. I was hard on him, that mistake, and that was also my plan on that to learn. To think. A lot of people have no idea what you have to do to arrive at the top of a sport.” The documentary doesn’t specify how the young Dutchman got home, with reports speculating his mother collected him.

Related: Max Verstappen claims Jos Verstappen supposedly snubbing Sergio Perez at Jeddah was ‘completely normal’

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The tough love might have helped Max Verstappen to be a formidable driver

Jos and  Max Verstappen
Jos and Max Verstappen(credits: CrashNet.com)

Max Verstappen was evidently subject to a rough childhood with very high expectations on his shoulders from a very young age. This has shaped him into the man he is today, and he stands to be one of the most ruthless drivers on the track and shows no sign of weakness.

Verstappen made the leap into Formula One in 2015 with Scuderia Toro Rosso, the sister team and academy of Red Bull. He was quickly seen to be a prodigy, and delivered consistent positive results, warranting a midseason promotion to Red Bull in 2016. Max took victory in his first-ever race for them and showed the world his capabilities.

Ever since Max Verstappen has earned several accolades and established himself as a top competitor in Formula One, he won his first World Championship in 2021, breaking the dominant era of Mercedes and Sir Lewis Hamilton. Max went on to crush his rivals in 2022, once again winning a consecutive World Driver’s Championship. He shows no sign of slowing down in 2023 and aspires to continue winning, having won 37 races and stepped on 80 podiums at just the age of 25.

The regimen that Jos Verstappen subjected his son to was intense, but it was always trying to improve him and shape him into a champion. His actions toward a mere teenager may not be conventional or justified. Still, nonetheless, his son has evolved into an ardent competitor and will one day be one of the greatest ever.

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