Max Verstappen will be without the support of his famous Dutch father at their home grand prix at Zandvoort this weekend.
Jos Verstappen, who the championship leader will honour over the Dutch GP with a tribute helmet livery, has tested positive to covid.
“I feel fine, but of course I stayed at home because I don’t want to endanger Max,” the former F1 driver told De Telegraaf. “We don’t want him to get sick.”
Jos also sat out the ceremony when his son, who races for Red Bull, was appointed an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau earlier this week.
Verstappen senior is expecting Ferrari to pose a bigger challenge to Max this weekend compared to last week at Spa-Francorchamps.
“There have been some rule changes after the summer break and maybe other teams are more bothered by that than we are,” he said.
“But it won’t be as easy as the last one at Spa.”
There has been speculation, which was denied by Red Bull, that Verstappen’s advantage in Belgium could have been due to a special lightweight chassis.
But Max even confirmed on Thursday that his car has been “fat” all season long and Red Bull has been “slowly starting to get rid of that”.
His almost 100-point advantage over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has put Red Bull in a buoyant mood for Zandvoort, but team boss Christian Horner is determined to keep the home race pressure to a minimum.
“We want to keep him in a kind of team bubble of calm,” Horner smiled.
“He has the number 1 on his car now, he leads the championship, and we all saw what went on here last year and we expect it to be even more extreme this time.”