Max Verstappen’s dad details how Red Bull star became master at overtaking

The quality of Max Verstappen is plain for all to see, and now his father has revealed the secret behind his stunning overtaking manoeuvres.

Verstappen, 24, started last Sunday's Russian Grand Prix at the back of the grid after an engine change, and yet surged through the field to seventh before benefitting further from adverse weather late in the race, eventually finishing second.

It meant that despite losing the lead in the drivers' championship to Lewis Hamilton, the Dutch flier is just two points behind with still seven rounds of the season to go.

Now dad Jos, who himself raced in F1 from 1994 to 2003, has lifted the lid on what helps his son pass other cars so seamlessly – and it goes back to the work the pair did together when the youngster Verstappen was go-karting.

"Overtaking was a big problem for me, because you can also overtake in the wrong way,” the elder Verstappen told Speedweek.com.

"When Max lost time in an overtaking manoeuvre, I tried to explain to him how he could do it better. This went so far that I forbade him to attack on the straights or in places that seemed too easy to me.

“I said to him, ‘You can only attack here, here and there, nowhere else'. And those were corners where maybe the other drivers wouldn’t attack.

“That’s one of the reasons why in Formula One today we have the impression that Max can overtake anywhere. Max has trained this for years and made it his own during karting.”

The policy certainly paid off for Verstappen, who aged just 15 won the 2013 World KZ championship at Varennes-sur-Allier, France, in KZ1, the highest karting category.

He joined F1 with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in 2014, but in 2016 switched to Red Bull and that season became the youngest ever F1 race winner when he prevailed at the Spanish Grand Prix, at the age of 18 years and 228 days.

But now it's a maiden F1 title that his firmly in his sights, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner saying his podium finish "felt like a victory in Sochi."

The result came just two weeks after Verstappen was deemed responsible for a crash with Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, which saw the 24-year-old handed a three-place grid penalty for the next race by F1 officials.

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