In the wake of Max Verstappen’s fine victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, his father and former F1-racer Jos Verstappen has hit out at critics of his son’s driving style which he insists has not changed and is what ultimately led to victory.
It was a famous victory for Red Bull, their first at their home track which is owned by the energy drinks organisation and is the pet project billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz who has invested tens of millions to develop and maintain the venue formerly known as the A1-Ring and also Österreichring.
Verstappen’s victory on Sunday was his first of the year and finally put behind him the first half of the season in which there were simply too many incidents, which in turn led to questions regarding his “aggressive driving” style and the infamous “head-butt” quip.
Speaking after the race on Sunday evening, Verstappen senior told a group of Dutch reporters, “People should never again put a question mark on Max’s so-called aggressive driving style.”
“Max knows what he is doing. He has to fine-tune some small things and he understands that himself, but by gaining experience he gets better and better. He knows what he’s capable of. You saw it on the first lap how he overtook Raikkonen, that’s Max. ”
Verstappen’s victory is a much-needed boost for the Dutch youngster who was cheered on by orange-clad fans who invaded the picturesque circuit set in the hills near Spielberg.
His father added, “Whoever says or writes that, does not understand. He has just won by using that exact driving style. The criticism was the biggest nonsense. Max must, of course, fine-tune small things but he will only get better through experience and age.”
“We always talk to each other, but I think that is not even necessary. Max himself knows what’s happening. Today he showed that he understands it very well. I just talked to some people and suggested that we would never question his abilities again, because he really knows what he is doing.”
“He has everything under control. No one ever has to question that again,” added Jos who himself made 106 grand prix starts but never won F1 race.