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Jos Verstappen: Max' move on Vettel was poor judgement

NEWS STORY
16/04/2018

Amidst growing concern that Max Verstappen might be allowing the red mist to get to him, his father Jos, no stranger to controversy himself, has spoken out in defence of his son.

The back-to-back races in Bahrain and China have seen young Max Verstappen grabbing more than his fair share of the headlines.

Labelled a "dickhead" by Lewis Hamilton following their clash at the start of the second lap in Bahrain, yesterday's Chinese Grand Prix saw the Red Bull driver penalised for his clash with Sebastian Vettel.

At a time FIA race director Charlie Whiting is hoping Max' increasing tally of penalty points will calm him down, father Jos has leapt to his defence.

"I don't think there is anything wrong with that," Verstappen Snr told Ziggo Sport's Peptalk, when asked about his son's 'enthusiasm'. "I still think Max' move on Hamilton in Bahrain was a good one.

"Max put his RB14 quite decently alongside Hamilton's Mercedes and let the car just ease its way forward," he continued. "He is also forced to take a bit more risk because the Red Bull lacks some top speed compared to the Mercedes.

"Looking back, he should have given Hamilton some more space exiting the corner," he admitted. "But on the other hand, Hamilton could have done the same with Max. That's why it was deemed a racing incident and they were both at fault."

"Max is always put under scrutiny and because of his age, he is looked at even more," said Jos, echoing his son's comment at the start of the China weekend. "If you look at the fight between Alonso and Vettel at the Chinese Grand Prix, you'll see that that isn't talked about. But Max' attempt on Hamilton, during the same race, is reason for much debate.

"I think it's not done that Max is given such an unfair rep by the press," he continued. "As a matter of fact, I don't think the move on Hamilton was too bad at all. Something that really was wrong, was his attempt on Vettel. That was not even possible and was clearly poor judgement.

"I'll see Max tomorrow and we will talk about it. Last weekend was really painful and this needs to be discussed. Max needs to focus more during certain conditions. But, I don't want him to change the way he drives. Let's be honest: the start, where he overtook two drivers, that was just perfect. That's what we want to see. Not the other moves from him and he needs to get that sorted out. In a normal fashion we will analyse what happened. But he damn well knows it himself. I don't need to explain it to him anymore. I am not mad at him, but disappointed. In the end, he is the one who is suffering."

Asked why he no longer attends all the races with his son, he replied: "I don't always need to be there anymore... he doesn't need me. However, at times I can pretty quickly see how Max is feeling and coping during certain conditions."

Jos will be present at Azerbaijan next week however. "That was already planned. I also plan on being at Barcelona and Monaco," he reveals. "I wasn't present at the last two races as I also need to think about myself.

"I hear everything within the team and I see the same lap times as Olav Mol does at the circuit, so I don't miss a beat," he adds, reffering to the Dutch F1 commentator.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by zoom, 20/04/2018 0:02

"Max is not so young anymore. He should've learned a thing or 2 by now & not have to run to Daddy for a defense. IMHO Max is a short timer & I can't wait 'til I've seen the last of him. Don't let the door hit you in the @ss on your way out.

"

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2. Posted by Toffeecup0, 18/04/2018 14:52

"We all make mistakes least he had the decency to find vettel after the race and apologised should be the end of the matter"

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3. Posted by george, 17/04/2018 14:20

"get the kid back in his go-cart"

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