Max Verstappen father has given his honest opinion on seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. His son takes a slender eight-point lead into the penultimate race of the season
Max Verstappen’s father provided his honest assessment of Lewis Hamilton ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.
Hamilton will begin on pole at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, while the Red Bull racer starts in third following a crash late in the final qualifying session.
Should the 36-year-old win the race, he will regain the lead in the driver’s championship with just one race remaining.
If Hamilton wins the title this year, he would clinch it for a record eighth time and while Jos respects his ability as a driver, that’s as far as his assessment of the motorsport legend goes.
“I never speak to Lewis,” Jos told T he Daily Mail. “He doesn’t need to speak to me. I’m nothing to him. I respect him as a driver, but the rest… nothing.
“Max and Lewis only speak on the podium, very little. When I see Max with other drivers, I think they get on very well. But with Lewis nothing. Lewis is in his own world.
“I did F1 — compared to Max I was nowhere — but I talk to some of the drivers and they are all very friendly, or just say hello or whatever. We are on the plane together many times, always the same group of drivers and we have a lot of fun.
“But there are “some” drivers who don’t look at you, who look at the ground.”
Max followed in his father’s footsteps as Jos contested 107 Formula One races between 1994 and 2003.
He began his career at Benetton, where he teamed with Michael Schumacher and witnessed the first of the German’s seven world championships.
According to Jos, both the Verstappen and Schumacher families used to go on holiday and built a strong bond both on and off the track.
The 49-year-old would go on to assess the way Hamilton conducts himself, claiming he does things “his way” and explained the difference between his son and his greatest rival.
XPB Images/PA Images)
“Lewis does it his own way, which you can’t say is wrong because he wins a lot. Yes, he has had team-mates, but he has been in the right environment,” he added.
“He made the right decision to go to Mercedes and has had the fastest car for a long time. But he is good, for sure. I respect him as a driver. The rest…
“Max is how he is. Some people like it. Some people don’t. He says what he thinks but doesn’t get involved in political matters, such as what is happening in other countries, like Lewis does.
“Max sees it as a case of doing a job as a sportsman and leaving it at that. Everybody does it their way and that is Max’s way.”
Jos even criticised Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who he claims he no longer has a relationship with following Verstappen’s crash at the British GP this summer.
“It is not there any more,” says Jos. “I don’t like his attitude. I don’t like how he behaved, starting at Silverstone. One of the drivers was in hospital and they are on the podium celebrating as if they’ve won the world championship.
“I didn’t think Toto was like that but I learned about a different Wolff. We didn’t have any contact from him, any message or whatever. And to think he had spoken to us in the new year: I am not saying he was trying to bring Max over at that stage, but let’s say we had a good relationship before Silverstone.”