Former driver and Viaplay analyst Mike Hezemans believes that Max Verstappen is the evolution of his father Jos Verstappen. The Dutchman finds it ‘irritating’ and remarkable that the 26-year-old seems to drive effortlessly and with so much composure. According to Hezemans, it seems as if Verstappen is sitting on the couch at home when he is racing.
Hezemans, who rode with the brother of Verstappen’s mother Sophie Kumpen, knows the Verstappens well. The former driver has a karting company together with his father, and Kumpen drove during her karting career with an engine built by Hezemans and his father. The families still have good contact and Verstappen indicated that he sometimes visits Hezemans in Miami, where the former driver has a house. “He is the evolution,” Hezemans says about Verstappen in comparison to Verstappen senior at Viaplay prior to the Mexican Grand Prix. “He is much more relaxed, that’s the difference,” the former driver continues.
‘I rode with him in Portimão, next to Max and Jos. Jos drives a bit like me, but Max doesn’t seem to use any power at all while racing. It’s so irritating to see that as a former driver. It looks like he’s sitting on the couch at home,” Hezemans laughs. Several drivers and former drivers sometimes stand with their mouths open watching how effortlessly Verstappen squeezes out the laps. He seems to become one with his car and gets more than the maximum out of it without pushing himself beyond the limits. Verstappen can therefore confirm that his father’s driving style is a bit rougher. “He brakes very late and especially hard,” says the three-time world champion. “I think I always brake a little earlier.”
‘He always tried to teach me that’
In any case, Verstappen has learned a lot from his father. ‘I’m also not so hard on the pedal, so that the car doesn’t dive down, at least in a GT car. But my father has built up a lot of experience,” the 26-year-old continues. ‘He knew where he was very good and knew where he was lacking, and he always tried to teach and teach me that. That has obviously helped me enormously in my career.’