For the first time in his 27-race formula one race career, Max Verstappen will be without his famous father Jos this weekend in Baku.
De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper, reports that although the former Benetton and Minardi driver is usually at the side of his 18-year-old son, Jos decided to skip Azerbaijan.
The news follows reports shortly after Max’s move up from Toro Rosso last month that Verstappen senior, 44, would now take a small step away from his son’s career.
“Max is fine,” Jos is quoted as saying.
“Everything goes smoothly and the team is very happy with him. It’s the next step in his development.
“It’s good for him to occasionally go about his work without his father there,” Verstappen added.
Indeed, Max – whose 23-year-old girlfriend Mikaela is a lower-category racing driver – has already moved out of his father’s home in Belgium, and currently lives in Monaco.