1000km Nurburgring

Jos Verstappen

Johannes Franciscus "Jos" Verstappen (born 4 March, 1972, Montfort) is a Dutch racing driver. He is married to the Belgian ex-kart driver Sophie Kumpen, with whom he has two children: Max and Victoria.

Early career

Verstappen began karting at the age of 8, and was participating in national competitions not long after. In 1984 he became Dutch junior champion. He remained successful, and won two European titles and a large number of international races in 1989.

At the end of 1991 he made the transition to car racing. He drove in Formula Opel Lotus, a class in which identical cars compete against each other. He won the European championship in his first year, and got an offer to drive in Formula 3 with Van Amersfoort Racing, who also developed other drivers such as Christijan Albers, Tom Coronel and Bas Leinders. During that European winter season, he raced in New Zealand Formula Atlantic. Subsequently, in German Formula 3, he won several international competitions, including the 1993 Marlboro Masters and the German Formula 3 championship.

Formula One

1994 season

In he was hired as a test and backup driver in the Benetton F1 team. After a crash in pre-season testing by regular driver J.J. Lehto (who broke a neck vertebra), Verstappen drove in the first two races of the season as a substitute, partnering Michael Schumacher. Verstappen made his Formula One debut at the 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix. During the race he collided with Eddie Irvine, which triggered a multiple accident also involving Éric Bernard and Martin Brundle. Verstappen's car somersaulted, but he emerged unharmed. Irvine was judged to be responsible for the incident and was banned from the next race, increased to three after an unsuccessful appeal by his Jordan team. At the Pacific Grand Prix, Verstappen looked set for a points finish but spun off on cold tyres immediately after a pit stop. Lehto was fit for the next race at Imola, but his performances in subsequent races were disappointing and he was rested by Benetton following the Canadian, allowing Verstappen to return to the race seat.

One of the most dramatic incidents affected Verstappen at the German Grand Prix. During his first scheduled pitstop during the race, fuel leaked onto the car after the fuel hose was disconnected, setting the car, with Verstappen in it, ablaze for a brief period. As was usual at the time, Verstappen had slightly opened the visor of his helmet for the pit stop, and he walked away with slight burns to his nose.

A high point in this season was Verstappen's third place during the next Grand Prix in Hungary, Schumacher having allowed Verstappen to unlap himself on the final lap to pass Martin Brundle's stricken McLaren-Peugeot. He took another third place at the Belgian Grand Prix due to Schumacher's post-race disqualification from victory, and a fifth place at the Portuguese Grand Prix. A curiosity was his accident during a training session for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, in which Verstappen rammed his car into the pit wall causing debris to fly up and destroy a TV installation. Due to this accident, this equipment is now protected from the race track by acrylic glass.

For the last two races of the season, Verstappen was replaced by the more experienced Johnny Herbert in a bid to win the Constructors' Championship for Benetton. The team was unsuccessful in this aim and the prize went to the rival Williams team.

1995-2003

In he was stationed at Simtek by Benetton team principal Flavio Briatore. Despite some strong showings Verstappen only finished once in the five races he drove for the team. The team had financial troubles and went bankrupt after the Grand Prix of Monaco. After the Simtek debacle, Verstappen did some test driving with Benetton and Ligier.

In he drove for the Footwork team, and drove pretty well, running 5th in Interlagos and finishing 6th in Buenos Aires, but engine troubles prevented him from making a splash on the stage. During the GP of Belgium, a part of the suspension of Verstappen's car broke off, causing him to hit the railing. He ended up with a prolonged neck injury.

In he went to the Tyrrell-Ford team, but did not score, though he briefly ran 5th in the Canadian Grand Prix. He and his friend and teammate Mika Salo were dropped by the team at the end of the season after Tyrrell's new owners, British American Racing, opted for Ricardo Rosset and Tora Takagi instead. However, Stewart Grand Prix came to the rescue and Verstappen was drafted for the last 9 races of the season after Jan Magnussen had been shown the door. He was a test driver for the Benetton team earlier on in that same year, but the latter would not hire him as a permanent test driver for lack of sponsors.

For everything seemed to be going in the right direction for Verstappen. Near the end of 1998 he became the testdriver for the Honda Formula One project. He teamed up with old Tyrrell friends Rupert Manwaring and Harvey Postlethwaite, testing in 1999 and participating from the year 2000. All went well for the Honda test team until Harvey Postlethwaite died of a heart-attack. Not long after, Honda changed their plans from becoming a fully factory team to just an engine supplier, and Verstappen was again without a Formula One seat. He tested for the Jordan team in case Damon Hill decided to retire before the end of the season, but this came to nothing.

In he returned to Arrows (formerly known as Footwork), at that moment a promising team. He produced very strong results, moving up to 5th from nowhere in the Canadian Grand Prix, and finishing 4th in Monza whilst battling for the podium with Ralf Schumacher. But the many technical problems plagued Verstappen and his teammates Pedro de la Rosa (most notably when after the 2000 Austrian Grand Prix first corner shenanigans he and Verstappen ran 3rd and 4th) and Enrique Bernoldi. During the 2001 season Verstappen had some very good races, like in Sepang where he ran 2nd having started 18th, or at the A1Ring, finishing 6th, but he also blotted his copybook with an incident at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which put him and Juan Pablo Montoya, who was leading at the time, out of the race. The Arrows proved to be fast, but quite unreliable. Verstappen finished the season with a contract for the next season, but ultimately it was put aside in favour of the better funded Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Verstappen started looking for another team in . He had almost signed a test contract with Sauber, but he turned out to be physically too large for the Sauber C21, which was smaller than its predecessor.

In Verstappen drove for European Minardi, a team which rarely scored points. He made an impression several times with the reliable but relatively slow Minardi, but left the Italian team because he did not feel like driving in the rear-guard for another year. His most impressive feats were topping Friday qualifying in France after a rain-hit session,and running 7th in the wet Interlagos, where judging from all retirements he could have finished in the top 5. He looked to get a contract with Jordan, but it was never realised.

Verstappen participated in 107 Grands Prix. He achieved two podium places, and scored a total of 17 championship points. His highest qualifying position was 6th at the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix.

Complete Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1994 Mild Seven Benetton Ford Benetton B194 Ford V8 BRA
Ret
PAC
Ret

SMR

MON

ESP

CAN
FRA
Ret
GBR
8
GER
Ret
HUN
3
BEL
3
ITA
Ret
POR
5
EUR
Ret

JPN

AUS
10th 10
1995 MTV Simtek Ford Simtek S195 Ford V8 BRA
Ret
ARG
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
12
MON
Ret

CAN

FRA

GBR

GER

HUN

BEL

ITA

POR

EUR

PAC

JPN

AUS
- 0
1996 Footwork Hart Footwork FA17 Hart V8 AUS
Ret
BRA
Ret
ARG
6
EUR
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
Ret
ESP
Ret
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
8
POR
Ret
JPN
11
16th 1
1997 Tyrrell Tyrrell 025 Ford V8 AUS
Ret
BRA
15
ARG
Ret
SMR
10
MON
8
ESP
11
CAN
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
10
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
AUT
12
LUX
Ret
JPN
13
EUR
16
- 0
1998 Stewart Ford Stewart SF2 Ford V10

AUS

BRA

ARG

SMR

ESP

MON

CAN
FRA
12
GBR
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
13
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
LUX
13
JPN
Ret
- 0
2000 Arrows F1 Team Arrows A21 Supertec V10 AUS
Ret
BRA
7
SMR
14
GBR
Ret
ESP
Ret
EUR
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
5
FRA
Ret
AUT
Ret
GER
Ret
HUN
13
BEL
15
ITA
4
USA
Ret
JPN
Ret
MAL
10
12th 5
2001 Orange Arrows Asiatech Arrows A22 Asiatech V10 AUS
10
MAL
7
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
12
AUT
6
MON
8
CAN
10
EUR
Ret
FRA
13
GBR
10
GER
9
HUN
12
BEL
10
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
JPN
15
18th 1
2003 European Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS03 Cosworth V10 AUS
11
MAL
13
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
12
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
9
EUR
14
FRA
16
GBR
15
GER
Ret
HUN
12
ITA
Ret
USA
10
JPN
15
- 0

A1 Grand Prix

After two years of not participating in races, Jos Verstappen was confirmed in July as driver of the A1 Netherlands team managed by seatholder Jan Lammers's Racing for Holland, for the A1 Grand Prix series. They won the feature race at Durban.

On 27 September 2006 Jos Verstappen split with A1 Team Netherlands after failing to secure payment guarantees. This resulted from Verstappen only being paid for the 2005/06 season a few weeks before the next season started. He was replaced by Jeroen Bleekemolen for the first race of the 2006/07 season at the team's home race at Zandvoort.

Complete A1 Grand Prix results

(Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap) (sr = sprint race, fr = feature race)
Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Points
2005-06 Netherlands GBR
sr: dnf
fr: 7
GER
sr: dnf
fr: 7
POR
sr: 4
fr: dnf
AUS
sr: 7
fr: 4
MAL
sr: 5
fr: 16
UAE
sr: 11
fr: 9
ZAF
sr: 16
fr: 1
IND
sr: 7
fr: 6
MEX
sr: 4
fr: 2
USA
sr: 14
fr: dnf
CHI
sr: dnf
fr: 17
7th 69

Le Mans Series

In December 2007, Verstappen announced that he would take part in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans-race, as well as enter the 1,000 kilometer races in the Le Mans Series. Driving a LMP2-class Porsche RS Spyder fielded by Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Verstappen is partnered by team owner Peter van Merksteijn. Jeroen Bleekemolen also joined the team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

After winning the 1000km Catalunya and 1000km Spa, and finishing second in the 1000km Monza, Jos Verstappen won the LMP2 class of the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans. With his victory at the 1000km Nurburgring, Verstappen clinched the LMP2 Drivers' title and Van Merksteijn Motorsport won the LMP2 Manufacturers' title.

References

External links

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