Max Verstappen copped a great deal of flak for his antics during the Chinese Grand Prix in which his ill-timed aggression seriously compromised his race, but the Dutchman is ignoring the criticism and instead is taking counsel from those close to him whom he trusts.
Verstappen was in the wars in the latter half of the race in Shanghai. First, he tried a move on Lewis Hamilton which was ambitious, to say the least, and was forced to veer off-track to avoid a collision with the Mercedes.
Not long after he clattered into Sebastian Vettel when trying to overtake the Ferrari into the hairpin. They both spun as result and Vettel limped home in eighth, while Verstappen recovered to cross the line fourth but was demoted to fifth after he was penalised by FIA race stewards for causing the incident.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that teammate Daniel Ricciardo, capitalising on the fresh rubber he had, showed how to do it properly on his way to a superb victory, which might have gone to his younger teammate had he not tripped himself up.
Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Jumbo Race Days in Zandvoort, the Red Bull driver said, “It was not my best race and of course I am not happy but I am not dwelling on it and I am not thinking about it anymore.”
“I should have approached it differently but if you were to know about everything in advance you could change the entire world. Of course, I would have preferred if it was different.”
“I’ve learned from it and I’m looking forward. I will not be less aggressive in the way I drive, but I will assess situations better in the future. At some point, you have to move on, so I’m looking ahead to Baku.”
With regards to his victim Vettel, Verstappen said, “I’ve apologised and we’ve talked about it as well. He also experienced these things during his early years, that’s part of the game.”
The young Dutchman, who admitted that he has not watched replays of the race, is paying little attention to his critics, “This applies to both positive and negative comments and opinions. I have to be critical of myself and I am harder on myself than my fans.”
Instead the 20-year-old is taking counsel from those closest to him, namely his father former F1 driver Jos Verstappen and Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, “It’s always nice to talk to my Dad, he understands and I also spoke with team advisor Helmut Marko, they are the people close to me who know how it works.”
“Even when I have won races, when I look back there were always things that could be done better,” he added.
“We have had three races, there are still eighteen to go, you can see how quickly things can tip over, there is still a lot to be done, and there are still plenty of opportunities,” predicted Verstappen.
Finally, asked by a journo if he needed a psychologist, the youngster quipped with a grin, “What is that?”