Jos Verstappen on WRC Ypres debut: "Max thinks I'm crazy"

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen says son Max Verstappen thinks he is “crazy” for taking up rallying, but is supportive of his father’s World Rally Championship debut this weekend.

Jos Verstappen on WRC Ypres debut: "Max thinks I'm crazy"

Verstappen Sr will join the WRC ranks at Ypres Rally Belgium, piloting a WRC2 specification Citroen C3 in the tough asphalt event.

The 50-year-old, who managed two F1 podiums from his 106 starts with Benetton, Simtek, Footwork, Tyrrell, Stewart, Arrows and Minardi, only took up the discipline a year and a half ago.

Top 10: Ranking the greatest Arrows F1 drivers

This weekend’s outing at Ypres Rally Belgium is only the fifth rally of the Dutchman's career after he made his competition debut aboard the C3 in the Belgian Rally Championship earlier this year.

Speaking to select media including Autosport, the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours class-winner says his F1 world champion son has taken an interest in rallying and is keenly following his father’s progress.

“He thinks I’m crazy,” smiled Verstappen, when asked what Max thinks of his career change.

“But he understands and he enjoys it. I have him on the phone every day. He likes it and he enjoys it as long as I have fun.”

Verstappen also revealed that Max has tested his C3 Rally2 car, confirming the Red Bull F1 star quickly adapted to the new discipline in the brief outing.

“Once you have the feeling it doesn’t matter what car you drive,” Verstappen added.

“We had this trackday and he [Max] was very fast, I had no chance.”

Verstappen will campaign a Citroen C3 R5 in Belgium's WRC event

Verstappen will campaign a Citroen C3 R5 in Belgium's WRC event

Photo by: Frits van Eldik

Verstappen explained that fun was the key ingredient that sparked his decision to try out rallying, admitting that the discipline mirrors the feeling of adrenaline experienced when racing in F1.

“It is excitement at every stage,” he said. “When you do a Formula 1 race you have that excitement before the race and then you have the start and that starts the adrenaline.

“But here in rally you have this eight times a day. Then it is so exciting because you don’t know the circuit and you have to listen, and this makes it exciting.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s rally, Verstappen says finishing the 281.58km event is the target as he looks to continue his steep learning curve. He hopes it will lead to further outings in the WRC next year.

“To finish, this is the main goal,” he added.

“It is a long [event], it is going for the whole week but physically it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I will have to stay calm and try to finish it, as there is a lot of stages. But it is good, that is why I’m here.

“You have to take your time. Of course, you want to go on the limit with the cars, but you have to adapt to what is coming. Nobody knows how the track will be after 30 cars have been through.

“I hope we can go through the first day and get that experience in.”

shares
comments

Related video

Drivers braced for toughest wet tarmac WRC event
Previous article

Drivers braced for toughest wet tarmac WRC event

Next article

WRC Belgium: Rovanpera crashes out after violent roll

WRC Belgium: Rovanpera crashes out after violent roll
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
13 h
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022