mobile app bar

“He Needed That”: Jos Verstappen Claims Max Verstappen Needed His ‘Tough’ Parenting to Bloom in His Career

Vidit Dhawan

“He Needed That”: Jos Verstappen Claims Max Verstappen Needed His ‘Tough’ Parenting to Bloom in His Career

Max Verstappen has been trained hard by his father, Jos Verstappen, which eventually shaped him into the driver he is today. Although the 51-year-old has received immense criticism for his parenting, he believes it was necessary to treat his son in this manner. Jos believes that if it were not for his “tough” parenting, then the three-time world champion would not have been so successful.

While speaking to the Italian branch of Sky Sports (as quoted by, Jos said, “At the beginning of his career, I treated him hard, but he needed that. I think it was good because it laid the foundations to get him where he is now. I was hard on him, and I was strict, but because of that, he has become what he is“.

The former Benetton driver believes that it was his “strict” parenting that helped Max to come to F1 “with a lot of confidence” despite his tender age. Meanwhile, the 26-year-old himself has credited his father for the same but has admitted that his father’s treatment may seem too “harsh” to the outside world.

In an interview with GQ last year, Max said (as quoted by, “It sounds a bit horrible. Like, some people probably cannot deal with that kind of behavior, but I needed it. I was that type of character, probably, who needed this kind of treatment. Of course, from the outside, it sounds sometimes a bit harsh. But I’m very happy that I had that kind of treatment“. However, there have been times when things have also gone a bit too far as well.

Jos Verstappen once left Max Verstappen stranded on the streets

In the same interview with GQ, Max Verstappen explained how his father once left him stranded on the streets near a gas station. Max stated that his father just did not want to talk to him after he failed to deliver during his karting days. Hence, when the 26-year-old did not stop talking, Jos Verstappen asked him to leave the car.

Even though Jos eventually did pick up his son again, it just gives a glimpse of the harsh treatment Max received as a child. Moreover, when it comes to Jos, he has also often been in the news for several other wrong reasons.

Back in 1998, the 51-year-old was imprisoned for five years after he and his father got into a brawl at a karting track. The court deemed them guilty as the victim suffered a fractured skull.

Another grave offense that Jos was deemed guilty of was threatening his ex-wife, Sophie Kumpen, the mother of Max. On that occasion, Jos escaped jail time as he paid a fine and served three months of probation.

While Jos has been quite a controversial individual, there is no doubt that he has played a crucial role in helping his son achieve success at the highest level. Max is already a three-time champion now at the age of 26, and is one of only five drivers to win 50 races or more.

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

Read more from Vidit Dhawan

Share this article