Max Verstappen has revealed that, in order to improve his fortunes in the 2018 Formula 1 season after a poor start littered with errors and collisions, he decided to back off from his usually aggressive driving style, which has paid off with better results.
The Dutchman came under criticism for his approach in the first six Grand Prix races of the season, which saw him regularly collide with opponents on the track, with his swashbuckling nature behind the wheel being blamed.
Although he previously claimed he would never adapt his driving style due to negative comments, he has admitted to toning it down a bit.
“I do my own thing, even if there are a lot of things written, I really don’t care,” said Verstappen.
“My dad always told me in go-karting, back in the day, if I was maybe overdriving or something, he would always tell me “Max, even if you think you are not going fast enough, it’s still fast enough”.
“So basically, for my feeling, I just backed it out a little bit and that seems to make me a bit faster.”
Incredible to win again in Mexico! I was determined to win today and luckily we did just that. Amazing! Again a perfect job by @redbullracing, thank you for the great car ???????? #KeepPushing #MexicoGP pic.twitter.com/YgBTnz2W7E — Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 28, 2018
Verstappen successfully defended the Mexican GP on Sunday, and has confessed to some nerves before it, only for them to drift away once the lights went out.
“I didn’t sleep much [on Saturday] and found the race build up a long one, but after the lights went out my feelings soon changed,” he continued.
“Once ahead I could just settle in and concentrate on my own race, especially as Lewis [Hamilton] looked to be struggling with grip. I made sure I matched his lap times to maintain the lead.
“We got the strategy spot on again, having another set of Supersofts meant I was able to manage the wear knowing I had a fresh set to go onto towards the end of the race.
“So when Seb [Vettel] pitted we did the same and were able to keep the gap.
“When I saw Daniel [Ricciardo] pull over I asked the team if they should turn my engine down as I already had such an advantage, I wanted to be sure we made it to the chequered flag.”