Max Verstappen Claims Red Bull Changing Approach in F1 Title Fight With Mercedes

Published 04/30/2021, 6:29 AM EDT
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


‘Risk and reward’ is one of the fundamental principles of a person’s life. The greater your risk, the greater your reward could be. However, you also risk losing a great deal. So, you take big risks when you need to make a giant leap. But when you are in a position that is greater or equal to your competition, you can afford to be more cautious and minimize your risk. That’s the mantra that Red Bull and Max Verstappen are hoping can earn him his maiden F1 Championship Title.

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Over the past few years, the Red Bull driver had to take a more aggressive route in races owing to the relative uncompetitiveness of his F1 car in relation to Mercedes.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

But this season, they have turned a corner and are fighting against them as equals. Hence, Verstappen is looking at the bigger picture at every race weekend. Elaborating on his ‘try to make the least mistakes possible’ approach at the Thursday Press Conference, he said

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“It’s just choosing your moments when to shine. I mean, you have to understand that if it’s not your day, then you have to settle for a certain result.

“Whereas in the past, we had sometimes a car where we could win races, but we knew we were not in a championship fight so you might risk it a bit more.”

Max Verstappen is aiming to maximize his points haul in 2021

The Dutchman’s battle with Lewis Hamilton for supremacy this season may go down to the wire. Currently, just a single point separates them with both winning a race each in Bahrain and Imola. So, he understands the value that each and every point holds.

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“Of course, when you are in a championship fight or at least you know that you have a car which can be competitive more often, your approach does change a little bit because you cannot afford to lose too many points in a weekend where, let’s say, you’re not at your top level,” he said on the eve of the Portuguese GP.

“So I think that’s what we always have to make sure that even if we don’t have a perfect weekend, we still score a lot of points.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

While critics oftentimes labeled him ‘Mad Max’ for his over-the-top driving style, he’s now toned down. But that won’t make him any lesser driver, instead, it will help him to become more complete. And maybe by the end of the season, an F1 world champion.

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Bharat Aggarwal

674 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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