MAY 15, 2016
Mission accomplished for Max's father Jos
Jos Verstappen is taking a step back from the limelight in the career of his son and F1 teen sensation Max.
44-year-old Jos, known throughout his own F1 racing career as 'The Boss', was an ever-present figure in the garage until this weekend in Barcelona.
What has changed is that Max has stepped up from the junior team to Red Bull's title-winning senior outfit, where Dr Helmut Marko and Christian Horner call the shots.
"He (Jos) probably takes a little bit of a step back but that's fine," Max had said on Friday.
Now, it emerges not only that Jos will be absent from the garage from now on, but that he will also adopt a lower profile in the paddock.
For instance, he has immediately given up a personal column for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, but it is understood he will continue to co-manage Max's career along with Raymond Vermeulen.
"Jos knows every trick in this business," Toto Wolff, who tried unsuccessfully to sign Max up for Mercedes' development programme prior to his 2015 debut, said in Spain.
"His (Max's) rise has been breathtaking. But we never had serious negotiations with him because when it came down to it, Red Bull could offer him a race seat for 2015 and we could not.
"Now everything has happened as Jos imagined."
Indeed, Max's rise to Red Bull is being traced back not only to Daniil Kvyat's awful race weekend in Sochi, but a public chat between Wolff and Jos ahead of the Russian grand prix.
"Whether our conversation made a difference, I don't believe that," said Wolff. "I think Max's achievements have spoken for themselves."
Max's obvious talent may have given new teammate Daniel Ricciardo reason to be worried during the qualifying hour on Saturday, but the Australian duly went third fastest, a few tenths ahead of the Dutch teen.
"At the moment I guess he's the hottest young property -- at least he's created the most hype and I think today he showed he was very quick," said Ricciardo.
"Today I managed to put in a good lap in Q3 and we'll see how the season progresses but, sure, it's exciting."
Indeed, the press has been hanging on every word uttered by the Verstappens, Ricciardo, Marko, Kvyat and even Carlos Sainz in Barcelona.
"What would you guys (the media) do without Red Bull in formula one?" grinned team boss Horner.