Jos Verstappen’s stern warning to son Max adds to Sergio Perez woes – “He’s had problems accepting this fact”

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has been dished out a warning by Max Verstappen’s father Jos that his son will continue to ‘destroy his teammates’.

Verstappen has simply been in sensational form throughout the past few seasons, but last year was just something else altogether. The Dutchman stormed to 19 Grand Prix wins out of a possible 22 races to establish his credentials as the best driver on the grid.

Jos Verstappen and Helmut Marko. Credit: planetf1.com
Jos Verstappen and Helmut Marko. Credit: planetf1.com

Jos Verstappen, who is a former racer himself, has been known to be a strict disciplinarian with respect to Max’s upbringing. Ex-Toro Rosso team manager Graham Watson believes this has been inculcated in Max owing to the hardships his father faced during his time in F1.

“I think that Jos felt that Michael Schumacher had better material and was favoured,” Watson said.

“I had the impression that Jos had difficulties accepting that, because he also was a very gifted driver.

“Flavio [Briatore, Benetton team principal at the time] had a strong bond with Michael, both sporting-wise and personal. That’s why I think Jos imprinted on Max very early on, that the first thing that you have to do is destroy his teammates.

“And we have seen that in recent years. It has to be your team, you have to be the man around whom it revolves. I’m convinced that you now also see this with Max – first beat your team-mate, then win the title.

“To this day, I don’t think that Jos got fair treatment at Benetton and that has partly ensured that Max understands that aspect of the sport very well. He does not need better equipment, he wants the same equipment, talent will do the rest.”

Perez has been woefully short of the mark compared to Verstappen in each of the three seasons they have been teammates.

While some believe that Max’s dominance in the sport has made for dull viewing, Watson has quite the opposite view.

“Max is the best thing that has happened to Formula 1,” he said.

“When Max went from [Toro Rosso] to Red Bull, I compared it to Michael Schumacher’s move to Ferrari. He [Schumacher] made Formula 1 immensely popular at the time. Just look at the old images of Hockenheim and Spa: the stands were full with Schumacher flags.

“I think Max single-handedly saved Formula 1. Because he brings the same intensity and generates interest.

“People come en masse to Austria, Spa, actually everywhere for him. I didn’t even see that back in Schumacher’s time.

“My wife is 60 years old, but a big fan of Max because of his style, because of the excitement he creates on track.”

Read more: Red Bull dealt double blow in pursuit of McLaren’s Lando Norris to partner Max Verstappen

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