Max Verstappen: Red Bull driver says winning Formula 1 title would not ‘change his life’

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says he is not feeling the pressure of the Formula 1 title fight because winning would not “change his life”.

The 24-year-old is two points behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings.

“The whole team wants to win so that mentality is definitely there,” he said, before the Turkish Grand Prix.

“But it is nothing you can force or you have to stress about because we always want to do the best we can.”

Red Bull are in the title fight for the first time since 2013 but Verstappen said he was not wasting any time thinking about what he could achieve by the end of the year.

“I always do my best and I know the team is doing the best they can,” he said.

“If that is going to be first it is an amazing achievement – it is what we work for – but even if we finish second it will be a great season and, at the end of the day, it is not really going to change my life.

“I enjoy what I am doing and that’s very important. For me, there is not that much to worry about, really.

“You just have to work hard together and then we will find out at the end of the season where that will put us. Is that first or second? We don’t know.”

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso said of Verstappen: “He seems to deal with the pressure better than other people. Everyone is different but it seems that for him it is not a big deal every weekend and he takes it race by race.

“I think that’s the best approach for the remaining races.”

Seven-time champion Hamilton said over his many title campaigns he had learned how to deal with the pressure involved.

“It’s not a case of ignoring it,” Hamilton said, “because it’s there, but it’s the understanding of what will be will be.

“All you can do is prepare the best way you can, give it 100%, and what’s coming up is coming up and so I just don’t worry about those things.

“I have been very fortunate. I have had a lot of ups and downs, but had an amazing time, a lot of growth and I just don’t worry about ‘what if?’

“I just try and prepare for now and that means making sure I’ve done the work with the team at the factory and then ultimately enjoy it.

“What an amazing season it has been so far. It has been super-exciting for fans, massively engaging. We finally see two teams neck and neck, which is amazing, and of course we want to win but you have to learn to let that not overtake everything in your life.”

Hamilton said he did not yet know whether he would have to take a fourth engine to get him through the remaining races. This would mean exceeding the permitted allowance of three engines per season and starting from the back of the grid. Team boss Toto Wolff has said it is “a possibility”.

“At the moment I still have [engine] numbers two and three,” Hamilton said. “I don’t envisage us having to take one at the moment but that could change, who knows?”

FIA medical car driver Alan van der Merwe and deputy medical delegate Dr Ian Roberts are missing the race in Istanbul after testing positive for Covid-19 before leaving for Turkey. They are being replaced by FIA Formula E’s safety car driver Bruno Correia, and medical delegate Dr Bruno Franceschini.

BBC

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