Max Verstappen did not have his support team of his father Jos, family and management at the Canadian Grand Prix following his difficult weekend in Monaco.
After crashing during practice in Monte Carlo and missing qualifying, Verstappen was only able to finish ninth while teammate Daniel Ricciardo won, leading to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner saying the 20-year-old could benefit from a modified approach. While Verstappen was not keen to talk about any changes ahead of the weekend in Montreal, Horner reveals the biggest difference was off the track as the Dutchman went on to finish a strong third.
“You don’t want to defuse [his approach to racing], it’s part of what makes him so exciting,” Horner said. “He had a clean weekend this weekend. I’m sure it’ll give him a bunch of confidence heading into the next bunch of races.
“His approach here has been slightly different, he’s been here on his own. I think he’s done a super job this weekend. He’s such an exciting talent. In any sport, you see [athletes] have periods where things don’t go quite as well as others. And that’s been very public for him. Hopefully his luck is about to change. This was a fantastic performance from him this weekend.”
Asked to elaborate on what he meant by Verstappen being on his own, Horner added: “It’s the first race I think he’s done on his own. It’s something different. Whether it contributed anyway is impossible to say. He is still evolving and maturing as a driver as he gains more experience.
“It was something that was discussed with him. It is something that will be between him and his team.”
However, Horner says there is no guarantee that Verstappen will not have his family and management with him at future races despite his performance in Canada.
“No, we just wanted to try it this weekend. I’m not saying it has contributed in any way, it was just something a little bit different. He’s been very immersed in everything the team has been doing this weekend. He’s done a super job. All credit to him for putting together a very strong weekend [and] to finish within a tenth of a second of Valtteri [Bottas].”