Verstappen: You don’t just allow somebody by
Despite a stellar second season in Formula 1, Max Verstappen still has his detractors including veteran Kimi Raikkonen who questioned the young Dutchman’s defensive tactics and with it opened the lid on criticism leveled at the Red Bull driver.
But Verstappen is not fazed by the talk, in fact he sees it as a plus, “I always see it as a positive thing. If people are talking about you then you are doing something right. Of course, you always have people who criticise. Some people are for you, some people against.”
“But I just try to do the best possible job for the team because we are fighting with Ferrari. You don’t just allow somebody by.”
With victory in his first race for Red Bull, after his promotion from Toro Rosso, the teenager has revealed a ruthless streak that has inevitably conjured up comparisons with the late great Ayrton Senna.
Verstappen acknowledges, “Of course, I am always on the limit, but that’s how you become successful, by being on the limit – because if you are under it then you will never achieve what you are capable of.”
“So for me, [[criticism] doesn’t really change a lot. I will drive exactly the same as I have done before because there is nothing wrong with it.”
Verstappen also accepts that the focus is more on him now that he is a front runner with Red Bull, as opposed to a mid-pack grafter with Toro Rosso. The limelight exacerbated by his fairy tale maiden victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.
“After the win, of course people expect a lot from you. I just approach every weekend the same, just trying to do the best possible job, trying to set up the car as well as I can, drive as well as I can.”
“Of course, it was a surprise to me to win my first race with a new team straight away, but from there on everything has gone pretty well.”
“At Toro Rosso they were very professional, but being at Red Bull is another step up on a number of levels, so for myself I had to step up.
“It’s not the easiest thing jumping into a new team in the middle of a season, but so far everything has worked out quite well.
“I’ve been enjoying it, the pace is there, I’m having good results, and I’m definitely loving it out there right now,” admitted Verstappen who heads to Spa for his 32nd grand prix start.