Verstappen comfortable in team leader role

Image by Hone/LAT

Verstappen comfortable in team leader role

Formula 1

Verstappen comfortable in team leader role


Max Verstappen says he hasn’t changed his approach to the way he works at Red Bull despite being the more established of the two drivers this season.

Daniel Ricciardo opted to move to Renault in a surprise move last summer, meaning Verstappen is now partnered by Pierre Gasly who has just one full season of racing in Formula 1 under his belt. With a new Honda partnership getting off to an encouraging start this year and Verstappen finishing in the top five in every race, the 21-year-old says he hasn’t tried to do anything differently despite the changes in the team.

“For me not much has changed because for me the feedback I was giving already last year was the same as I’m doing now,” Verstappen told RACER. “If it would be different then for sure I would be doing a bad job last year, that’s how I always approach it.

“Personally, I always feel like I can feel what the car is doing. For my age anyway, I’m very experienced at that because of working with my dad from a very young age, trying to give good feedback. So I never felt like it was a big pressure or anything to maybe step it up a bit within the team, because I felt like I was already giving the right information.”

Verstappen believes his achievements relative to his age are sometimes overlooked because he made his Toro Rosso debut back in 2015 – and as an extension, that he was judged too harshly for some of his early mistakes.

“I only had one year of F3 experience, and of course you make some mistakes in Formula 1 which maybe other people did in juniors or whatever,” he said. “But for me that’s fine. I prefer to be at the highest level and make the mistakes and learn from it, instead of being in the lower categories and then maybe some mistakes then can cost you your career in Formula 1.”