Jos on Max' podium finish in Japan: 'Max has grown tremendously this year'

Published on 08 October 2018 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen came in third fastest at the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday. The Dutchman never had a dull moment during the race, despite his clashing with both Ferrari-drivers, he still managed to secure a third podium finish in a row in Japan. In Ziggo Sport’s Peptalk, father Jos looks back at the race weekend at Suzuka as he also touches on other topics.

This was Max seventh podium finish this season so far. Still, seeing his son on the podium, is not something father Jos has gotten used to: “Well, it’s not something regular. I think that all in all, it was quite a difficult race. He did well. It’s a pity about the penalty, but that’s all in the fun when Max is concerned.”

That penalty father Jos is referring to is a five-second time penalty Max had been given for leaving the track and not returning safely after he had out braked himself on the first lap. Jos does not agree with the penalty and is an advocate for more consistency: “I have the feeling that they are not consistent. It is just not clear what is punishable and what is not. I think that work needs to be done in Formula 1 in that area. There needs to be a strict border.”

Verstappen continues: “Max makes a small mistake braking for the corner, he returns on track and there is nobody around him. Well then he indeed returned safely there, is what I think. For him it’s mainly the question what is allowed the next time and what not? He tries to get back normally on the circuit. Then Kimi Raikkonen is next to him and Max still needs to negotiate the corner. It would have been easier for Max to go straight ahead, like Valtteri Bottas did later on in the race, but he doesn’t because he’s afraid of getting a five-second penalty. You just have no clue whatsoever.”

Jos is a firm advocate for set stewards: “That’s what I believe. Firstly, I think that a driver should know what is allowed and what not. That is now just very unclear. One cuts a corner and gets away with it and the other tries to return to the track and gets a penalty. That is just not right. I think that the Stewards should be formed by only one or two set persons.”

Regarding the incident with Sebastian Vettel on lap eight during the race, Jos had the following to say: “You arrive at that corner with 280 kph and you take the corner with 200 kph and then you briefly hit the brakes. I think in any case that that is a difficult corner to overtake in. Vettel is used to everybody letting him by and certainly cars running with Ferrari-engines. That is very obvious in the race. The only thing is, he knows how difficult it is to overtake Max and I think that he was a bit too optimistic about that.”

As we have seen often this year, RB14 lacked top speed in Japan as well. Despite the fact that Renault has been criticized heavily the past years, Jos thinks that the co-operation with them needs to concluded on a high before switching to Honda: “They need to finish this season decently, as professionally as possible and then they can have a fresh start next year.”

According to Jos, Max has gathered quite some information at the Japanese engine manufacturer: “Max knows exactly what is happening. He hasn’t been there this year, but he did go to Honda last year.”

Finally, Jos sees that his son has made a lot of progress this year: “He learns more from every race. I think that Max has grown tremendously this year.”