Max Verstappen defends approach to racing following recent incidents

Max Verstappen has issued a defiant response to claims he should change his approach to racing after two high-profile incidents in recent races.

In Bahrain, the Red Bull driver saw his race ended after being too aggressive in a bid to pass Lewis Hamilton on Lap 2, with the resulting contact damaging his gearbox.

Then, during the Chinese GP this past Sunday, the young Dutchman would run into the side of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari while battling for third, causing both to spin.

That has only increased the focus on Verstappen, with former Formula 1 champions Niki Lauda and Nico Rosberg suggesting he should take a more measured approach, but he had a different point of view.

“It’s easy to comment that,” he was quoted by PlanetF1 on Monday.

“Just at the moment it’s just not going the way I like, but does it really mean I have to calm down? I don’t think so.

“It’s just very unfortunate those things happening.I just need to analyse everything and try to come back stronger for the next race.”

What only emphasised the 20-year-old’s over-exuberance further, was the direct comparison between his errors and teammate Daniel Ricciardo producing perfect move after perfect move to take a remarkable win.

The best example was with the pair trying to pass Hamilton as they made their way through the field on new Soft tyres compared to those ahead on used Mediums.

Whereas Verstappen tried an audacious move around the outside the Turn 7, which saw him slide off the track and allow the Australian through, his Red Bull partner would time his attack to perfection with a lunge into the Turn 14 hairpin.

“Turn 8’s a little bit more possible [to overtake at], but there’s actually a dirty line on the outside of Turn 7,” the Mercedes driver explained.

“It’s a very fast, long corner. I don’t think any top driver has ever been taken on the outside there before.

“I didn’t even see him there, I was doing the corner normally,” he added.

“When I watch the replay, I don’t really understand what he was up to there, but it wasn’t a problem for me.”

Later would come the incident with Vettel, with the stewards slapping a 10-second time penalty on the three-time race winner which would eventually see him slip down to fifth.

Asked if his recent behaviour would be worthy of a talking to, FIA race director Charlie Whiting considers the penalty, plus two points on his superlicence enough.

“I don’t think there’s any necessity to do that, he made a mistake which he got penalised for,” he said.

“There probably is a little bit of criticism but that’s what the penalty points are for. They’re there to make a habitual offender take notice.

“He’s got five points now [over the past 12 months], he’s going to be more careful, I would say,” Whiting added.

Under the penalty points system, any driver that should pick up 12 over a period of a full year would be banned for one race.

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