Verstappen: more comebacks than Sinatra 05 Mar 2003
Jos Verstappen first tested an F1 car at Estoril back in 1993, when he went very quickly in a Footwork. The Dutchman did enough to impress McLaren team chief Ron Dennis, but just as he was ppoised to sign a test and development role contract with McLaren for 1994 he was snapped up by Flavio Briatore at Renault. Within weeks, with only 50 car races to his credit, he found himself racing when team-mate JJ Lehto injured his neck in a testing accident.
That season Verstappen suffered a violent accident in Brazil, and a pit lane fire in Germany, but twice finished on the rostrum. He was dropped in favour of Johnny Herbert for 1995, but switched to Simtek. When that team collapsed mid-way through the season, he returned in 1996 with Footwork Hart. In 1997 he returned with Tyrrell, before disappearing again and the returning with Stewart briefly in 1998. Then he was back in after sitting out 1999, driving for Arrows from 2000 until he was usurped by Heinz-Harald Frentzen for 2002.
Now he is back with Minardi for yet another try.
"People say I am like a yoyo," Verstappen says. "The truth is that I still love F1 and I still think I have a lot to offer, in terms of my experience, racecraft and proven ability to overtake."