I blame the Dutch…

From time to time every writer reads a line that they wish they had written. It is a bit like the celebrated conversation between Oscar Wilde and James Whistler.

“How I wish I had said that,” said Wilde.
“Oh you will, Oscar, you will,” replied Whistler.

One such line is from the Austin Powers movie “Goldmember”. I am not a fan of Austin Powers but this is pure genius.

“There’s only two things I hate in this world,” said Austin’s father Nigel. “People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

It makes me laugh out loud every time. And it does not matter how many times I read it, it is still funny. Now before you start complaining about racism, it could say English, Polish, Zimbabwean or Catalan. The nationality is not important.

The truth is that I am using the headline to conduct an experiment to see the impact of a controversial headline in comparison to a dull one. The Dutch are huge F1 fans and very Internet-savvy so many of them should read this. I am not about to start using controversial headlines to boost the numbers on the blog , but I am simply looking at the effect it has.

Hey, it’s the winter and I have five minutes for such things…

There is a story in here (eventually). It is about Jos Verstappen and how it seems that the Dutch have hit on the idea of how to find a great racing driver. Forget the hours of training, the answer is to breed them. Now we have seen many sons of famous fathers but Jos is ahead of the game in his thinking as he managed to find a competitive lady racer with whom to share his DNA and the result – Max Verstappen – should one day be a top notch racer as a result.

Jos was a terrific F1 driver. He was given too much too soon and went up against Michael Schumacher at Benetton at time when it was not wise to do so. None of the drivers in that car ever did well. This is possibly because no-one in the second Benetton ever found the celebrated Option 13 software that the FIA found in Michael’s car at Imola in 1994.

The result of this was that Jos was written off before he ever really had the chance to make his reputation and although he raced in 107 Grands Prix, he was never again in a car that was capable of winning. Along the way, however, he married a lady called Sophie Kumpen, the daughter of the Belgian national rallycross champion Paul Kumpen). She was a terrific kart racer – with the CRG team – and indeed in 1995 won the Margutti Trophy at Parma, beating the likes of Jarno Trulli and Giorgio Pantano. She was also the Belgian champion and placed second in the Japanese kart GP at Sugo.

Max was born in 1997 and has won several cadet and junior karting titles in the Benelux region. he has now been signed to race in KF3 in 2010 with CRG. I met him the other day at the Nurburgring and he seems like a nice kid. I expect he will be turning up in F1 before too long…

61 thoughts on “I blame the Dutch…

  1. Thing I always found as a big Schumacher fan, the most passionate ‘haters’ if you will of Schumacher – were Dutch.

    Indeed I went to a software developer’s conference a couple years back, and one of the speakers was talking about how he got into the field. His answer, was delivered by way of a picture.

    Schumacher’s limp attempt at shunting Jacques Villeneuve off at Jerez.

    Anyway, short story shorter, he began developing to write an anti Michael Schumacher website.

    Don’t know what this anecdote teaches us. But what is interesting is the culture differences between fanbases. Contrast the English fans (and media) to the Italian. Contrast the German (fans and media) to the American. And to the Dutch.

    I find it all quite interesting and if there is anything to be said for online discourse, it is the melting pot you get with all of these cultures intermingling – in sometimes readable English.

  2. Heh, nice headline Joe, and let’s see how this headline works with NewsNow!

    The bain of the Internet these folks, the trick headline kings of F1. Never cover a race, never do original reporting, rip off those that do, and count the clicks!

    And anyway, why not blame the Dutch?

  3. The Dutch are indeed reading your blog. 😉

    As for Jos Verstappen, he is still popular among his loyal fan base. Even in the silly season this year, threads about a possible F1 comeback emerged on his personal website which shows that some of his fans keep up hope no matter what.
    Jos has however lost a lot of credit with the general audience in the Netherlands when he abandoned the A1GP time at the latest possible moment due to arguments over his wage. Lots of fans had already bought tickets to the Zandvoort race, only for Jos to pull out a day or two before the race.

    His personal website has been used lately to push the career of his son Max, who is clearly support to succeed his father.

  4. “I expect he will be turning up in F1 before too long…”
    I more than agree. And I hope he can accomplish what his father for whatever reasons couldn’t: to be (at least) a race winner!

    Let’s hope Max is wise enough to hire a different manager ’cause I think having Huub Rothengatter as your manager isn’t the way to go…..

  5. Maybe Huub’s got a son who can manage him. He’d be in competition with Nicolas Todt…a man with some interesting connections now. Have any of the drivers Briatore managed been in touch with him yet?

    Oi, go easy on Newsnow, they’re not pretending they wrote it all. But they do encourage me to think about who I get my news from.

  6. A word or two from experience: the controversial headline trick will do wonders with the news aggregators and will probably send the visitor graph sharply upwards.

    But there’s a big question-mark over whether it can deliver quality traffic that returns and becomes engaged. In fact, headlines that promise and don’t deliver what the readers expect might actually be counter-productive – people may feel irritated and feel less inclined to click through in future.

    Hope this is interesting and helpful 😀

  7. Not a bad attempt at a little levity, but the loyalists will read everything you post, so the trick is to get new loyalists through headlines that are actually of interest. That you do already.

    Or you could send money to the scam artists who purport to be able to get your stuff ranked higher in Google.

    Either way, keep it up!

    PS, bring back Zandvoort and then have John Hugenholtz senior take over the design of future circuits.

  8. The Dutch breed racing drivers in bulk. Think of Tim and Tom Coronel. They also have racing girlfriends so there may well be a fresh wave of Dutch talent soon on the way.

  9. Dont Forget the Belgians…
    I’m I’m correct Max’s mother is a Belgian national and we have a better track record of producing F1 drivers than our Northen neighbours…

  10. Right now you have the two top stories on NewsNow!

    Just wait, the rip off merchants will now be forced to reply in kind. The poor Dutch will now become the centre of the F1 world.

  11. Well Joe, here’s just another of those Dutch Verstappen fans!
    Your view regarding the breeding of the next Formula 1 driver might be a bit conservative. This kid, Max, hasn’t only spelled the letters F1 in his DNA. It’s pure oil that runs through his vains… You can smell it when you’re close to him, is breath is pure fumes!

  12. The Dutch are a bit like the Italians, always having awesome kart drivers and then somehow they don’t get anything in F1.
    Another young Dutch kid to watch – Nyck de Vries, he won WSK, EU and had bad luck for the World Cup in KF3. Absolutely dominated in KF3. And he’s such a small and cute little kid:) You won’t believe how he handles interviews, I was in disbelief while watching him next to Alguersuari at Sarno! He was sooo calm and collected.
    They surely deserve a top driver in F1.

  13. Two John Chapmans read this blog and post under their real names? That’s going to make things complicated… Anyway, erm, what he said.

  14. Hmmmm…hit a stone and what to see what creeps into the daylight, Joe, were you aware that the only readers here were in fact a bunch over over-aged Jos-fans from the Netherlands?

    Bartus(who is not only over-aged, but also Jos-fan and even sometimes living below sea-level)

    If in ain’t Dutch…it ain’t much(Bartus G. 1963-2063)

  15. Hey Joe,

    finally somebody who recognises Jos Verstappen for what he truly is: A pure breed racing driver! This guy is unbelievable, always racing to win, even when he’s competing in a 1970 DAF 44 with Variomatic (yes, we dutch invented Continuous Variable Transmissions) against 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo.
    Click here, if you don’t know what a DAF 44 is:

    His son, Max has all the will power and guts of his father and the wit and grace of his mother. The kid is doing thing with a go-kart most people wouldn’t believe. He’ll be a great one!

    A true Verstappen Fan (be it Jos or Max)

  16. Dear Joe,

    More readers from The Netherlands here!

    Max Verstappen, what can we say about it? Superman on steroids? He has got the speed of his father and the brains of his mother 🙂

    The issue with Schumacher isn’t that big I think: Jos and Michael have been close friends for a long time, Michael is a briljant manager, that’s the difference with Jos. They both are superb drivers but it still is a team sport, make the right team. The basic speed of the two men is more or less the same, wich is a little faster than most of the drivers.

    I don’t know what is wrong with beeing Dutch, the big advantage however is that most of the dutch people don’t mind that much about the opinion of others, wich makes life a little easier 🙂 And if you are a fan of Jos Verstappen you have the big advantage of being used to commentary at monday morning from the collegues at work, haha.

    Max will make it out there, his father is his manager and beeing a father myself; managing your son is not a commercial activity so the choices you make for your son are based on what is good for the driver, not on what’s good for the managers wallet.

    Keep up the good work,


  17. hello
    i think that we have to wait till 2017 for our new F1 pilot.
    he,s absolut amazing ,the way he,s attacking the corners.

    it,s more exiting when we have a driver on the highest level.

    much dutch

  18. WATCH THIS..The cute kid (IVAN)

    McLaren signs 14-year old Nyck de Vries to Young Driver Development Programme
    21st January 2010
    McLaren has signed Dutch kart racer Nyck de Vries to its young driver development programme. The 14-year-old will be managed by Anthony Hamilton and the Hamilton Management Group, who firmly believe in Nyck’s status as an up-and-coming junior racer.

    Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “McLaren has a long-held commitment to assisting young talent – we believe it’s part of the responsibility of the motor racing community to encourage and nurture junior racers, and we are committed to doing just that.

    “Nyck appears to be a very exciting prospect, and we are looking forward to assisting his junior career, providing him with the support and training he requires to succeed.”

    Anthony Hamilton said: “Nyck is an extremely promising youngster. His father Hendrik has been fantastically supportive of Nyck’s career, and has been instrumental in raising him up to not just be a great young racing driver, but also a fine young man.

    “Together, we both believe that, with the right level of support, we can take his career to the highest level. We’ll be working very closely with Dino Chiesa, who will be running Nyck in Italy this year. Dino is an old friend, who previously ran Lewis and Nico [Rosberg] in Team MBM, so he knows everything about nurturing and developing young talent.

    “We believe this is a very exciting and dynamic partnership.”

    Nyck added: “My visit to the McLaren Technology Centre has been a fantastic experience and I am very honoured and grateful for the support of McLaren in helping to develop my career. The resources they have are incredible, and I believe they’ll be able to provide me with the perfect framework for improving my skills, my fitness and my motorsport experience.”

  19. Hope you get this Joe. Think it deserves keeping an eye on. You may have been on to something.

    Young Max is doing very well, as predicted!. Especially compared to Nyck de Vries who is now signed to McLaren and managed by Anthony (remind you of anyone).

  20. Please tell us what your crystal ball says about the next few years of Max Verstappen!? Mine says you will get new hits on this article quickly… 😉

  21. Max is great… And will become even greater… Youngest ever winner F3 last weekend… No need to watch this space… He is already in it… 😉

  22. Actually Max is driving the F3 championship now and I only would be surpised if he did NOT win this championship in his first year.

  23. Max Verstappen just became the youngest ever winner of a Formula 3 race at 16 years old.

    Guess your prediction is becoming reality

  24. It seems like a splendid idea to set up a racing drivers matchmaking office, to try and breed new racing drivers with superb DNA and secure a competitive driver level in F1 for the future 🙂

  25. Real cool to read this article years later. Max is doing great and is on the right track for personal growth as a driver and who knows…….Formula one in the coming years. So far he is doing what he should do……race fast and put himself in the spot lights.

  26. mr saward, the dutch Max Verstappen won already a formule 3 race in his first season at age 16. Maybe you are right and maybe it wil even be more fantastic..Max being the first formula one driver who become world champion at age 18!

      1. Well iT is a fact that he’ll be in formule 1 at age 17
        In 2015 … So , Joe, why could t he be world champion F1 in his second F1 year hm ? i.e 2016
        In that year he still is 18… Like i Saïd 😉

  27. Before all the Dutchies start showing their support for Max, don’t get me wrong I sincerely hope he’ll make it into F1..
    Who will his contender be, is what I am wondering..Perhaps Joe knows the answer to this as well?

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