Max Verstappen’s father has hit back at claims the 17-year-old is really Belgian.
The issue hit the headlines a week ago, when the Toro Rosso rookie’s mother Sophie Kumpen said the Belgian-born driver cannot apply for Dutch nationality until he turns 18 in September.
“In the meantime, he is Belgian and nothing else,” said Kumpen, who in the past has accused Max’s father Jos, a former grand prix driver and Dutchman, of assault and harassment.
Verstappen, 43, told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “Everyone wants a piece of Max.
“On the one hand it is a nice compliment to him. He is doing very well.
“So in the eyes of the Belgian media, suddenly Max is Belgian. But until a few months ago hardly anything was said about him in Belgium and now suddenly they are claiming him as theirs.
“The situation,” Jos added, “is that Max has both nationalities, as Sophie and I were married at the time he was born.
“But as he races with a Dutch licence, he is more Dutch than Belgium. He feels that too.
“When he is 18 and will choose, it will be for the Dutch nationality,” Verstappen revealed. (GMM)