Red Bull revealed the talks they had with Max Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen a few years ago, saying that they reduced his role in the team.
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull career began at Toro Rosso in 2015. He was teammates with Carlos Sainz, and there were always rumours of bust-ups between the two.
Even though they never gained credibility, Verstappen’s move to the main team was seen as a gamble. He would prove his worth in the coming years, becoming world champion in 2021.
However, for him to achieve the best development, Red Bull revealed the talks they had with Jos, and said that they requested him to not influence his son too much.
“Jos also felt disadvantaged in his own career and certainly thought with Benetton that he was being treated unfairly,” team manager Graham Watson said, as quoted by Planet F1. “I’m not telling any secrets with that, that’s publicly known.
“Max definitely didn’t want that to happen and most of all wanted to beat his teammate. He really has the mentality: I will not allow the team to be built around my teammate, the team will be built around me. Because of my years in the pit box, it may strike me more than others, but I clearly see Jos’s hand in that.”
“Jos was of course also used to having full control over Max’s career from the karting days,” he added.
“When Max came to us, the team looked different than it does now, less professional. Jos perhaps doubted whether our team was of the level to help his son further in F1.
“I noticed this especially in the fact that Jos tapped my shoulder every day and asked: ‘Graham, what about this and what about that?’ At one point I had to be a bit blunt and say, ‘For f*ck’s sake, just let the team members do their job.’”