Max Verstappen believes that his early-season troubles in the 2018 Formula 1 championship were down to the fact he perhaps "wanted a result too much" and after conversations with his father, Jos, it was decided that he would take a step back and approach things more calmly.
The opening six Grand Prix races were filled with mistakes or collisions for the Dutchman, which led many critics to question his on-track personality as well as his skills.
After hitting back at the criticism in Canada, he went on to claim his second podium finish of the campaign, and since then he has featured in the top three another six times.
In his opinion, the 21-year-old was pushing too hard for a result in the early races.
“I spoke a lot with my dad throughout those difficult moments, and I heard the same things in go-karting,” said Verstappen.
“He always told me, if I thought I was not going fast enough, I was still fast enough. And if I thought I was going slow, it’s still good.
“And I think in the beginning of the season, I was always over-driving, maybe, a little bit. I wanted a result too much. So I just basically slowed down a bit which made me faster."
In the races in Russia and the United States, Verstappen made up significant ground from the back of the grid to the higher positions, and it seems he relishes the challenge even if it can be hard not to damage the car when constantly overtaking.
Wow! From P18 to P2 ???? Unexpected, but very happy! We had a great race pace and the right strategy, thank you @redbullracing ???????? And thanks to all fans for voting me Driver of the Day ???????? #KeepPushing #USGP ???????? pic.twitter.com/b3hCK9qjep — Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 21, 2018
“Yeah, it’s been quite a few positions [that I’ve made up] but I think anyway when you start at the back, it’s a bit more of a challenge,” he continued.
“Of course you know you have a better car, but still you need to go through the pack without damaging your car, and especially the first lap chaos sometimes, a lot of parts flying around, so it’s really about trying to keep your car alive and two times we managed to do that in a good way.
“It will not always go that way, but I’m of course happy that it went this way in Russia and in Austin.”