Jos Verstappen admits he enjoyed seeing his son Max Verstappen lap Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory at the Emilia Romagna GP last weekend. Verstappen and Hamilton endured a thrilling, albeit controversial, title battle in 2021, but Mercedes have dropped down the pecking order due to the new regulations and that enabled Verstappen to lap his rival at Imola.
“Honestly, I did enjoy seeing Max lap Hamilton after everything that happened last year,” Jos Verstappen wrote on the family’s website. “Hamilton really had a tough time, whereas his teammate George Russell seemed to be more balanced. It’s not often you have the opportunity to lap a Mercedes.” Verstappen’s win was a key moment in the early part of the season as Ferrari appeared to have the upper hand prior to Imola.
However, Verstappen took pole position, won the sprint race by overtaking championship leader Charles Leclerc and won his second Grand Prix of the season to take the full 34 points available on the sprint weekend. Leclerc, who spun when chasing Sergio Perez for second place, finished sixth so Verstappen closed the gap in the driver standings to 27 points going into the Miami GP.
“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.