Former F1 driver Jos Verstappen is well known for his biting irony and provocative remarks concerning the sport and his son Max. The 22-year-old already made a name for himself since his debut owing to his on and off-track ruthlessness. In an interview to De Telegraaf, Verstappen senior delved into the unknowns surrounding the destiny of the 2020 season did not spare a cheeky dig to world champions Vettel and Hamilton.
“Max always drives to the limit. That is what people want to see. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton always get a little nervous when he’s behind. Isn’t it nice?” he said.
Max Verstappen currently finds himself in a rather privileged position, having secured a contract until 2023 with Red Bull. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the drivers’ market has taken an odd turn, with teams and athletes forced to negotiate without any race results to consider. Jos Verstappen believes Max finds himself in a better place to fight for the title compared to 2019 and will benefit from his early contract renewal with the team.
“If you have to negotiate a contract in this situation, you get distracted. We are very happy at Red Bull, and I really think we are closer this year than we were last season. But we’ll see”.
Furthermore, Verstappen is adamant that F1 will not cancel the 2020 completely, as the financial consequences of such a dramatic move would be too detrimental to the sport.
“I am convinced that there will be races. A year without competition is impossible, otherwise there will be teams that fall and people will lose their jobs” he continued.
“There are many contracts at stake. Health is of course the most important thing, but stopping the entire economy for months is not an option. Everyone should use some common sense”.
The 2020 season is set to kick off on July 5th with a double header in Austria behind closed doors. F1’s July ‘quarantine’ period, which is bound to carry on at Silverstone for two more weekends, may kill the dynamism of seeing different constructors excel, moving from a track to another.
“Of course you can think like that, but maybe there are also two Grand Prix at Silverstone after and there Mercedes has won in recent years. The most important thing is to race”.
Logistics and precautional measures have to be considered before going ahead with the first race of the season, where it will be key to practice social distancing and performing thorough checks in case of any suspect cases. Helmut Marko also hinted at further restrictions in the paddock as for personnel and media. In fact, the first races are rumoured to be taking place with only TV broadcasters allowed.
“If it is without an audience there is not much difference. But everyone will have to be tested in advance. There are 15 people working on a Formula 1 car in a very small space, so you can’t keep the distance of a meter and a half. A Grand Prix without journalists is also an advantage: Max has fewer interviews” Jos Verstappen concluded.