Jos: 'We think we are able to compete for the win in Austria'

Published on 26 June 2020 by Mike Motilall

Ziggo’s show host Rob van Gameren visited the Max Verstappen store in Swalmen for the first time ever this week. A feature regarding the actual store of Verstappenshop.nl was recorded and Jos Verstappen was also interviewed. Both items were featured Friday evening in Ziggo’s F1-Café.

Next week the 2020 Formula 1-season will finally get underway in Austria, but Jos is going to take a rain check, he tells Van Gameren: “I will not be going to the first Grands Prix. I have discussed it already with Red Bull. The team will act as a sphere so to speak and actually they don’t want to allow any ‘externals’. I wouldn’t even be allowed in the pitbox, so there is no value in being present. At home on TV and with my tablet also at hand I will be able to see just as much. So there is no point in being there. The team keeps me up to date during a race weekend, so I actually don’t even have to be there. Hopefully during the season access will be granted again and then I will make sure to be there again.”

Do you expect that the teams, since testing in Barcelona, in February and March, have made a small leap when racing gets underway again in Spielberg? Jos: “I think that small leaps have been made. When the teams had their mandatory shutdowns, nothing was being developed. But before that, items have been developed and are now available in Austria.”

The filming day on Silverstone, where Aston Martin Red Bull Racing completed 100 kilometers with Alex Albon behind the wheel, was also used to try out certain things. Max was not there. Jos: “Max didn’t go to the UK, otherwise he would have been forced to stay in quarantine for two weeks and that was not possible given that it doesn't fit his schedule. Max said that only three or four laps in the RB16 is what he needs to get the feeling back again. Max is not worried about that.”

What are your thoughts, do you think it will benefit Max that the season has started later because of the Covid-19 situation and therefore will likely have fewer races than the scheduled 22 GP’s? Jos: “The car felt good in Barcelona, that is what Max said. We think that we are in the clear, but where we really stand is anyone’s guess. We think we are able to compete for the win in Austria. That track suits Max actually well, albeit that Mercedes can also get well off the line there. Nobody knows how things will pan out. It will be very exciting.”

Do you dare to make any predictions for the coming season? Jos: “I find that very difficult. Personally I feel that we are just slightly behind of Mercedes. If it’s within two tenths, it will be a very exciting championship. But if we are trailing by half a second, then forget it. If it’s as close as we expect it to be, then it should be just between Lewis Hamilton and Max.”

After the interview, Van Gameren was personally shown around the Max Verstappen store by Jos himself. Particularly items of interest, like unique race memorabilia, were given special attention. From the very first kart to Max’ original STR11 Formula 1-car, as well as trophy’s, race overalls and helmets, varying from the helmet he wore when he won his first ever Grand Prix in Barcelona to Max’ current helmet.

Finally, Van Gameren was briefed on the ins and outs of Verstappenshop.nl, the company that has grown together with Max over the years and also successfully links his name to (online) merchandise and events. As we speak there are two positions open to reinforce the web shop team and also facilitate the further growth of the store.

The Max Verstappen store in Swalmen is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10.00-17.00 hrs. On every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday it’s open from 13.30-17.30. The full address of the store is: Bosstraat 91A, 6071 XT Swalmen.

At this moment, Verstappenshop.nl has a surprise for their customers: with every purchase you make on Verstappenshop.nl or in the Verstappen store in Swalmen, you get a free tin storage can. Be aware, supply is limited!

Finally we would like to make you aware of the fact that there is a monthly raffle on Verstappenshop.nl for every subscriber to the newsletter. Every month an item signed by Max is up for grabs. Click here to subscribe to the Verstappenshop.nl newsletter.