Jos Verstappen did himself no favours by his behavior at the end of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with reports abounding he ignored race winner Sergio Perez as he celebrated in front of the Dutchman, after the Mexican’s masterful win over his son Max Verstappen on Sunday.
However, the journos got it wrong as a video has emerged (below) on Twitter of Verstappen senior visibly reaching out to congratulate Perez but still Jos attracted the wrath of story-eager media at the scene immediately after the race.
Jos famously coached and primed his two-time Formula 1 World Champion son, Max from junior karting to the pinnacle of the sport, Father admitting that Son was his “life project” having sacrificed his own racing career for the purpose of making Max, the Max he is today; the best race driver in the world on most Sundays.
Nevertheless, not always known for his sportsmanship, this weekend Jos was the epitome of a Karting Dad the few times we saw him on the telly. The first standout moment, during Qualifying, was his visible disgust while watching Max clobber his way (to a broken driveshaft) out of Q2, when pole position was on his script.
That moment, the way in which Jos reacted was so typical of the attitudes and mannerisms of fathers toward their son’s escapades on karting tracks all over the world, every weekend of the year, if not every day.
Pulling off his headset in dramatic fashion, and walking away in disgust was a tiny cameo of his (you may have missed it if you blinked) that said so much of the man. One imagines that dnner with him that night would not have been pleasant.
The dreaded KDS – Karting Dad Syndrome – is an invisible global epidemic that prevails throughout the motorsport world, from Bambino Karting through the junior ranks, and now even in F1 as Jos showed.
Karting Dad Syndrome is a global motorsport epidemic that has filtered up to F1
Fast forward to Sunday, with Max scorching through to second place from P15, a win out of the question as Perez had all the answers, even when the Safety Car bit a chunk out of his lead and played beautifully into Verstappen’s hands, but the Mexican out-maxed Max on the night and the five seconds lead at the halfway mark, he kept until the end.
Clearly to the visible frustration of Jos, which was noted by Mexican journos covering one of Checo’s greatest days, including Andrew Reid who reported: “Jos Verstappen was standing amongst several members of the Red Bull team who were high-fiving Perez and congratulating him on the race win.
“When Perez approached though, he didn’t even manage to crack a smile or offer any form of congratulations to his son’s teammate. In excruciatingly awkward scenes, Jos simply blanked Perez with a vacant expression on his face as everyone around him savoured the race victory.”
In another report, Tom Sunderland wrote: “Some suggested Jos was later seen shaking Checo’s hand in congratulations, but cameras failed to pick up the act.
“Regardless, the veteran’s reaction in the immediate aftermath of Perez’s proud moment speak volumes, with his son’s comeback from near the bottom of the grid seemingly not enough to celebrate.”
They clearly never saw the video.
Report: Jos refused to acknowledge the Mexican star with the awkward snub
A 7News also got it wrong: “Jos stood among the Red Bull team as Perez was being congratulated. He had a totally blank look on his face, staring straight ahead and did not offer a smile, a pat on the back, a handshake or any other gestures of congratulations.
“Perez received a big hug from the Red Bull crew standing directly next to Jos, however, Jos refused to acknowledge the Mexican star with the awkward snub moment going viral on social media with fans venting their anger at Verstappen.”
Visuals of the apparent snub immediately went viral, the kinder ‘critics’ labeling him a bad sport as #digitalmaggots tucked into feast instigated by Jos, once again doing himself – or his son for that matter – no favours, as headlines in Mexico also testify.
Esto journalist, Christopher Morales noted: “Jos Verstappen, Max’s father, could not hide his annoyance after Checo’s coronation and at the moment the Mexican celebrated with the members of the team, the annoyance at not seeing Verstappen win was more than noticeable.
“It is not the first time that Verstappen’s father has been involved in such a situation, after on several occasions, he has criticized both the Mexican and the Red Bull team for giving him so much prominence, even dismissing him as the best teammate Max has ever had in F1,” concluded the Esto report.
It seems that Jos is damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t, perhaps staying away from the limelight on GP weekends is the best advice for him and his World Champion son doing the graft in the car.