‘Don’t Need to Open My Laptop’ – Max Verstappen Explains His Unique Approach to an F1 Race Weekend

Published 01/07/2021, 4:33 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Race winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Max Verstappen has risen in stature and reputation since his debut for Toro Rosso as a 17-year-old. His driving style has since become more matured, and he is now able to pressure opponents ahead of him with a fiercely fast Red Bull car.

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But the one thing Verstappen continues to rely on with his racing is the skill of intuition. He revealed that it was his father Jos Verstappen’s teachings that have laid the foundation for his understanding.
Max said, “It’s what you practice already in go-karting.

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“Of course, you didn’t have wings, but you can simulate different type of things, right? That’s what my dad [taught]: sometimes he would send me out, he would change something [on the kart], but he wouldn’t tell me what, and then I had to feel what it was doing.”

Max Verstappen believes that the data is for confirmation of his intuition

“And that’s how we get a good understanding of new parts coming onto the car. But he also told me: ‘if you don’t feel anything, don’t say anything; don’t lie.”
F1 drivers often assist the team in getting out the latest sets of upgrades and so, the feedback there becomes quite an integral component. This is possibly where Verstappen’s intuition comes in handy as he translates his experience with the car on the track to the team.
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the garage before qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Verstappen continued, “To be honest, if they would stick a new front wing on, I don’t need to look at the data to confirm. I go out, understeer, oversteer, whatever it does, more mid-corner grip, or whatever, then the data is just for them to look at to confirm what I said.”
“I don’t need to open my laptop to say: ‘oh no, it actually did that’. That would be wrong,” concluded Max on the subject.

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Verstappen’s form in 2020 could set up an even better 2021 season for him

The Dutchman almost closed in on Valtteri Bottas’ eventual position of P2 in the Drivers’ standings. Max even suffered a few misfortunes in terms of his retirements, which could very easily have translated into podiums and even wins.
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace
His majestic win at the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP, though, could well be a starting point for him to start strongly in the 2021 campaign. With better luck and an enhanced car, then, we could well see Max emerge to become a genuine title contender alongside Hamilton and Bottas.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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