Jos Verstappen has denied that his son Max is over-driving his Red Bull and as a result the car is breaking down more often than the one his teammate drives, instead he points to the substandard equipment which has frustrated the sport’s hottest young talent this year.
Verstappen was again let down badly when the Renault engine, bolted to his RB13, expired on lap seven of the race at Spa-Francorchamps – his sixth DNF in twelve races so far this season.
When asked, during an interview on Ziggo Sport TV programme, if Max’s driving style was contributing to the increased breakages when compared to teammate Daniel Ricciardo, Jos insisted, “Max isn’t doing anything wrong.”
“People are asking that question again if Max is being too tough on his equipment. But that’s complete nonsense. He isn’t over-driving the car, he isn’t breaking the material. We all know what it is: it’s just the equipment that isn’t good enough.”
“We all need to calm down for a bit and then maybe we need to sit down with each other because this won’t last if things keep going like this.”
The teenager has been linked to Ferrari and to a lesser extent Mercedes, but have their 2018 driver line-up sorted and Mercedes are set to confirm no changes in theirs for next year.
Thus the question of ditching Red Bull for another team was posed to Verstappen senior, to which he replied, “Maybe this is the wrong moment to ask this question, but you do start to question everything.”
But at the same time as a father he is aware of changes in his son’s demeanour, “I notice about Max that he’s very disappointed. It’s tough to keep yourself motivated the whole time when things are going like this.”
“I mean, he’s doing very well in qualifying, he’s half a second quicker than his team mate and he’s just behind the Ferraris.
“And then, after seven or eight laps, he’s standing at the side of the track again. This should not be able to happen, certainly not at a top team.”
In the wake of Verstappen’s DNF at Spa, Renault chiefs Cyril Abiteboul and Alain Prost have both issued separate personal apologies.
Christian Horner also issued a unleashed a stinging rebuke to Renault, Horner said in the wake of the race at Spa-Francorchamps, “Renault are quite aware that their reliability and product are not where they should be, and that is their business to sort that out.”
“We pay a hell of a lot of money for the engine. And they need to sort it out, it is hurting them as much as it is hurting us. At this level you can’t afford the kind of failures we are consistently seeing,” fumed Horner.
Red Bull billionaire Dieter Mateschitz also took a dig at Renault, “50 percent failure rate is simply unacceptable.”