The latest episode of Nico Rosberg’s always entertaining Beyond Victory podcast may kick a hornet’s nest after the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion labelled Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen a narcissist during a conversation with Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.
Around the 30-minute mark during the hour-long chitchat, Rosberg declared: “If you take Verstappen, he is a narcissist like you would write it in the dictionary, I think. How can you not doubt yourself if you make the same mistake six times?”
“And the seventh time you still do the same but it happens to work because you have so much talent and then it turns around into a huge success streak.”
“Being extremely narcissistic when you have the talent can be a powerful force and maybe even the most powerful,” reasoned Rosberg of the 21-year-old Dutchman.
Wolff was quick to defend Verstappen, “I think with Verstappen it’s different, there is a part in his life that we don’t see, and that is, the relationship with his father, Jos is giving his son very direct feedback, I don’t think he is holding back.”
“Max’s behaviour is self-confident in a way that he would even seem sometimes overconfident, but you must not forget he is very young. When he collided with Valtteri in Monza last year it was pretty obvious there was not enough space.”
“I watched a replay of the Monza Grand Prix, it was on Sky and Martin Brundle, who knows everything, says that was not enough space so it was clear but I think there is a certain degree of superconfidence that helps you in your ability to drive.”
“But I think the older he gets the more he matures he is going to get that angle under control.”
“If you remember how you were at nineteen, twenty – I know what I was, I would not be able to cross the road without risking an accident, I think that’s a different story. You need to consider the age,” added Wolff.
Big Question: Is Max a narcissist?