Sports

Max Verstappen plays down title pressure


Max Verstappen insists he is not feeling any pressure as his title battle with Lewis Hamilton enters its final phase.

Verstappen is three points behind Hamilton with seven races left to run this year and is facing his first real opportunity to challenge for the championship since making his Formula One debut in 2015.

However, in a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, Verstappen stressed that losing the championship to Hamilton would not have any real impact on his life.

“I always do my best and I know the team is always doing the best they can,” Verstappen said. “If that’s going to be enough, at the end of the year first, then that’s an amazing achievement and that’s what we work for, right?

“But I think even if we finish second we will have had a great season, and at the end of the day it’s not going to change my life. I enjoy what I’m doing and I think that is also very important. For me there is not much to worry about, really.”

Verstappen’s Red Bull team has not won a title since 2013 and has endured seven straight years of its main rival Mercedes securing dominant championship victories. But Verstappen said the mood in his team was not adding any pressure.

“You shouldn’t really stress,” he added. “I know that my team does the best they can and they expect that from me and I always try to get the best out of that. So we are fully committed of course to try and make this success together, but you cannot force things.

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

Hamilton, who has won seven titles in his career and is fighting for a record-breaking eighth, said different drivers deal with pressure in different ways.

“I think you can decide… it’s not a case of ignoring it, as it’s there, but it’s the understanding that what will be will be,” Hamilton said. “All you can do is prepare the best way you can, all you can do is give it 100 percent and what’s coming up is coming up.

“I just don’t worry about those things. I’m very fortunate in the past I’ve had lots of ups and downs but had an amazing time, a lot of growth, I don’t worry about ‘what if’, that’s up ahead.

“I try and prepare for now, that means making sure I’ve done the work with the guys back at the factory, Bono [Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington] and the team, and that ultimately we enjoy it. We’ve got to enjoy it.

“What an amazing season it’s been so far, it’s been super exciting for fans, massively engaging with Netflix around the world, new people coming in, we finally see two teams neck and neck which is amazing, and of course we want to win. But you’ve got to learn to let that not overtake everything in your life.”

Source link: https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/32354148/max-verstappen-plays-title-pressure-losing-not-change-my-life
Back to top button