Max Verstappen Blames Heated Exchange With Father During Childhood as Rebellious Streak Ruins F1 Experience

With a racing pedigree in his blood, Max Verstappen has been an era-defining driver in F1. The soon-to-be three-time world champion has charmed fans worldwide, thanks to his aggressive and fearless driving style. But despite such a driving style, he has a calm and collected demeanor both on and off the track. Max recently shared insights into his mindset and approach to racing, while shedding light on how he navigates pressure in F1. In hindsight, Max’s seemingly effortless approach to racing and F1 stems from quite a valuable childhood lesson. One that involves heated exchanges with his father, Jos Verstappen.

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Verstappen’s success in Formula 1 has been replicated only by a few greats in the past. His success can be credited to a deliberate approach that revolves around one key principle: “I just go with the flow,” Max states. In his own words, he enjoys what he does without overcomplicating things or burdening himself with excessive questions and doubts. It’s a philosophy that has served him well.

Max Verstappen and the clash with his father, Jos


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Max’s path to this mindset wasn’t always this smooth. He reveals on the Mind Set Win podcast, “Back in the day, for example, I had quite a few arguments with my dad about it.” Max’s father clearly had a different perspective, urging him to be more meticulous in his preparations. He ever-so wanted Max to take a more intense approach to racing. But clearly, his son had a different approach.

via Reuters

These disagreements with his father, while challenging for young Max, played a pivotal role in shaping his racing philosophy. “I think I learned a lot from having those conversations with him,” Max acknowledges. Despite the differences, Max remained true to himself. He maintains that even today, he remains relatively relaxed before a race starts. Which is quite a stark contrast to his father’s more intense approach.

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One might wonder if the reigning champion feels the weight of expectations and pressure, especially while being at the top of the Formula 1 world. One could argue that legends from the past have felt this pressure. But Max is quite different. His response is simple: “Not at the moment.” He emphasized that he’s fully immersed in the present moment. He rather enjoys the journey without getting overwhelmed by the pressure of staying on top.

Max elaborates on his approach further, explaining that he trusts his routine, his team, and his engineers. This trust in return allows him to maintain a laid-back and chilled demeanor. He even jokes about being able to stay longer at the track, but he’s aware that it doesn’t necessarily translate into any better performance. For him, the excitement only truly builds when he’s behind the wheel of his car, ready to race.

The winning formula for Max

Like any F1 legend, Max Verstappen’s mindset is also one of his biggest assets, besides his driving skills. His amazing ability to find the right balance between focus and relaxation has been pivotal in his success. Which also is a lesson that he learned from his heated exchanges with his father.


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via Reuters

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The connection between Max’s relaxed approach and his childhood experiences is quite evident. Additionally, his ability to stay true to himself, despite facing contrasting opinions, is an admirable trait of his.

Whether you are a fan of Lewis Hamilton or Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen deserves all the respect in the world. Not only has he shown outstanding driving capabilities, but he also has an admirable mindset. It’s no wonder that he is on the verge of possibly winning his third World Championship title.


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Max’s approach truly stands out to be quite effective. Through his lessons, he has taught us that success doesn’t always require being high-strung or obsessing over every detail. Rather, it’s about a person staying true to oneself and finding their own balance that works for them.

Author: ZeroToHero

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