Verstappen – ‘It’s Better to be a Talking Point in F1 than not’

Max Verstappen’s stock in Formula One has definitely risen dramatically this season. He is the only driver to win a race this season outside of the Mercedes garage and his highlights have coincided with defensive drama’s this season.

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 31: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing hugs Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing as they celebrate in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – JULY 31: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing hugs Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing as they celebrate in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

The young Dutchman takes praise and criticism with a pinch of salt nonetheless and has admitted that he’d rather be a talking point than fading into the backdrop. The Red Bull driver said,

“I always consider it very positive when you are a talking point in F1. Whether this is negative or positive, it does not matter. As long as they talk about you, it’s a good thing. The attention does not really affect me. For me, the most important thing is to deliver on track and that’s what I’m focussing on.

My memories from the race in Malaysia last year are very positive. The weekend started off pretty difficult but we managed to turn it around… even in qualifying already (6th) and then in the race I did not have an easy start but from there on I enjoyed it.

There’s good racing on that track where the humidity is a bit harder on your body but that makes it also more interesting so I am looking forward to going back there.”

– Max Verstappen

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 31: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer leads Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – JULY 31: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer leads Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Since joining Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen has finished higher than Daniel Ricciardo four times. The Aussie has finished ahead of his team-mate on seven occasions. The hype surrounding Verstappen is a mix of his potential as a driver and the criticism he’s received for some defensive manoeuvres.

Last season, Malaysia was the venue for Verstappen’s first ever points finish and he broke a record in doing so too, becoming the youngest driver in Formula One history to do so. It’s good that Verstappen is taking it in his stride as a point of focus and interest in the Formula One paddock as he will undoubtedly break a few more records in his Formula One career.

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a variable planed lens.) Max Verstappen of the Netherlands drives the 6 Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2016 in Spa, Belgium (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using a variable planed lens.) Max Verstappen of the Netherlands drives the 6 Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2016 in Spa, Belgium (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)