Jos Verstappen, father of current F1 world champion Max Verstappen, has admitted that perhaps, unsurprisingly, he enjoyed watching his son overtake Lewis Hamilton at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last weekend.
Hamilton and Verstappen have competed in a heated battle for F1 dominance over the last couple of years with the closing Grand Prix of the 2021 season ending in one of the most controversial outcomes the sport has ever seen. Since then their names have plagued headlines across the world.
This season, under Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton has struggled with several issues, the most potent of which rearing its head as porpoising which has forced the team to reduce aerodynamic traction in order to minimise driver injury and damage to the car. Verstappen in his quick but unreliable Red Bull has had no such issues and has won every race that he has completed.
Last weekend at Imola, he showed incredible performance finishing P1 ahead of current driver standing leader Charles Leclerc but Hamilton took a blow finishing P13 after being lapped by the Belgian driver. His father was all too happy to watch.
“Max had an excellent weekend in Imola,” said Jos Verstappen.
“I found him incredibly strong. He didn’t make a single mistake, was solid and completely in control.
“Red Bull clearly made a step in the right direction. Of course, we knew the car would get an upgrade in Italy, but with the weather conditions, it was hard to make a comparison.
“But we can definitely conclude that we’ve become stronger.”
Fans are keen to see Hamilton bring the fight to the Red Bulls but so far despite even Red Bull team principal Christian Horner being optimistic about Lewis Hamilton’s performance later this season, the German marque looks comfortable mid-grid.
Next weekend sees Miami join the F1 calendar for the first time and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes upgrades coming to the Mercedes W13 will be able to reduce the porpoising, allowing the car to reach its full potential. But the real question, is which Mercedes driver will benefit the most?