Max Verstappen made his debut in Formula 1 at a very young age and he got this opportunity partly because of all the investments that father Jos had made. Kees van de Grint can still very well remember how the Verstappens tested to the extreme during Max’s karting period.
Just like many drivers who managed to reach Formula 1, Max also started his racing career in the karting world. As a little boy he could already be found behind the wheel of a kart. Naturally, all this happened under the supervision of father Jos, who himself had the necessary experience in the racing world. At the age of seven, Max took part in a championship in Belgium for the first time and immediately became champion. The following year he took the title again and he repeated that trick a year later in the somewhat higher Rotax Mini Max class, where he managed to win all eighteen races. The fact that Verstappen so dominated the go-kart track is no surprise to tire expert Van de Grint. He saw early on that the Verstappen were very extreme.
In the Formula 1 Coffee from Ziggo Sport Van de Grint says that the Verstappen family was “crazy” when it came to getting the most out of it. Now Max almost always gets the most out of his car and that started when he was still behind the wheel of the karts. Van de Grint was often present at the test days and saw how the Verstappens continued to test to the extreme. “They were crazy,” says the former Ferrari tire expert. Van de Grint cites an example that shows how much Max and Jos were willing to give to reach the top.
“We test in Wackersdorf, near Munich”, Van de Grint begins. “A Bridgestone test for karting. Well … that is over, I think on Wednesday or something. They (the Verstappens) do indeed drive home. Then Jos, who is already in Limburg, reads on the weather report that it is Friday. They drive back, those eight hundred kilometers, to test in the rain on that track! ”
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