Max Verstappen has vented his frustration at having to repeatedly answer questions regarding his patchy start to the season.
The Red Bull driver has been involved in several incidents over the first six races of the season. Most recently, he crashed out during free practice three for the Monaco Grand Prix, which prevented him from participating in the most important qualifying session of the year.
Before then, other incidents include a collision with championship contender Sebastian Vettel in China and a crash during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
By contrast, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has claimed two wins and is currently third in the drivers’ championship with over double the points of Verstappen.
The incidents have prompted both Verstappen and senior members of the Red Bull team to question if a change of approach is needed, something which the Dutchman denied in yesterday’s press conference.
“I get really tired of all the comments of me, that I should change my approach, so I will never do that because it’s brought me to where I am now,” said Verstappen.
“Of course, at the beginning of the year it’s not been going that well, or not the way I like it. A few mistakes, especially Monaco and China, but it doesn’t make sense to keep talking about it, because I get really tired of it and it just feels like there are no better questions out there other than to keep asking me about previous weekends. So, I’m just focusing on what’s ahead and I’m confident that I can turn things around.
“The speed is there. I’ve been quick every single weekend. It would be much more of a problem if I was really slow, because that’s a more critical problem.”
When Verstappen was asked about the reasons for his incidents, he continued to give a frustrated response.
“I don’t know,” he added. “Like I said at the beginning of this press conference, I get really tired of all the questions. I think if I’ll get a few more I’ll head butt someone.
“Of course, I haven’t scored the points which I should’ve scored, which is not only my fault.
“It could’ve been better, but everybody makes it so dramatic.”
What do the fans think of Verstappen’s response?
From social media:
Just seen the Max Verstappen press conference, and boy does that lad have an arrogance issue. Yes you’re quick, but you are making costly mistakes. Saying you will head butt someone for doing their job shows more immaturity. Too much too soon. The question has to be asked #f1
— Dan Hammond (@djhammond) June 7, 2018
— Hamilton Lyndon-Griffiths (@HLG_F1) June 7, 2018
Verstappen says he will headbutt someone if he’s asked another question. World press loses it’s collective minds.
Ricciardo says he’ll punch Simon Lazenby in the stomach in Baku. No one says anything.
Double standards? Nah. #F1
— Rob Palmer (@RobPalmer_OTI) June 8, 2018
“If I get more questions on my driving I will headbutt someone”, says Verstappen
This are the words of someone who has been asked if they can keep their (F1) driving under control. Reassuring!
Come to think of it, maybe it explains a lot about poor driver behaviour in general.
— Dermot Hanney (@HanneyDP) June 8, 2018
Jack (08/06/2018, 7:17am):
“I thought he was going to explode during that pregnant pause.Then he blurted the headbutt comment out.
“After he’d said it, he glared at the journo and his eyes burned with pent-up, Prost-like volcanic passion.
“His fans are saying he was joking – because he laughed afterwards with Stof. Unfortunately, the horse had already bolted.
“Perfect example of a brash young bloke who won’t back down from his flawed junior plan of attack which doesn’t work now he’s in the big league.
“That wily old nugget of wisdom rings true … he who walks away, can smile and fight another day … it just won’t sink in. Whether it’s in the car or in front of a camera!
“If overconfidence and defiance were championship points, he’d be champion by the length of the Montreal straight.”
Dren (08/06/2018, 5;47pm):
“He spoke his mind. I find that refreshing and I don’t even care much for the kid. These press conferences are so scripted it gives them a breath of fresh air. I don’t even care if Verstappen meant it or said it in jest, he spoke his mind. The journalists are often just as arrogant asking the questions as Verstappen is responding to them.”
Bob Eager (08/06/2018, 5:14pm):
“When things go wrong everybody is all over him. But it is a double edged sword: both his successes and failures the result of who he is and how he drives. He can’t and he won’t change that, it is just how he is wired. He is always on it and will always try to win, even if it better to back down and avoid all risks.
“It is why he got hired in the first place, and why some people see a future world champion in him. Whether or not he is going to be a WDC remains to be seen.”
All images: Motorsport Images
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