There is no denying that Max Verstappen has embraced a successful Formula 1 career so far, finding himself in a championship battle against one of the greatest racing drivers, Lewis Hamilton, at the age of 24.
And, of course, the Dutchman has inherited part of his racing talent from his own father, Jos Verstappen, who once competed in F1 as well. However, here’s something that a lot of people aren’t aware of; Jos isn’t the only racing driver in the Verstappen family.
The Red Bull driver’s mother, Sophie Kumpen, was one of the greatest racing drivers of her time, according to Christian Horner.
What did the Red Bull boss say?
During a podcast, Horner opened up that he had raced against Max Verstappen’s mother back in 1989. Interestingly, Horner wasn’t the only one to challenge Sophie, but other former F1 drivers like Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella as well.
“We have a great relationship,” Horner said acknowledging his strong bonding with Max during the F1: Chequered Flag podcast hosted by BBC Radio.
Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with his team after the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 05, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands.
“I actually raced against his mum, back in 1989. His mum, she was in the top 10 in the world at that time against some great drivers like Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella.”
Max Verstappen got the aggression of his dad: Horner
The Red Bull boss opined that Verstappen mostly inherited the aggression from his father while the racing talent comes from his ‘smart racer’ mother, Sophie.
“She wasn’t quite as aggressive. I think that came from his dad. But, she was a smart racer, and I think he’s got the aggression of his dad and you know, the racing head of his mum. She was a formidable racer in her time,” Horner concluded.
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrate during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 15, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain.
Overall, the 2021 season has seen a mix of aggression and serenity from Verstappen, who very much looks like a complete driver at the moment. Unlike the past, Verstappen hasn’t cracked under pressure and has rather opted to look at the big picture.
Hence, with a chance to scalp his first championship trophy within reach, can he make it; or, will Hamilton, amidst his resurgence, secure a never-reached-before milestone of winning 8 Formula 1 titles? Well, either way, a thrilling end to the season is in the offing!