Sport Why Verstappen 'won't have nightmares' if he suffers F1 title defeat
F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton fastest, Bottas takes Turkey pole
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Turkish Grand Prix qualifying at Istanbul Park, but will start 11th on the grid due to an engine change grid penalty, so his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas will inherit pole.The cars took to a damp track on slick tyres, which led to early spins for Sainz and Verstappen, while Hamilton ran wide and lost his opening lap due to exceeding track limits. Hamilton’s second effort took P1 at 1m27.085s, which was topped by Verstappen at 1m26.692s before Lewis took it back with 1m26.520s.
For most athletes becoming world champion in their discipline is a life changing event, the culmination of a lifetime of effort, focus and sacrifice.
While Verstappen has certainly been groomed from a young age by racing father Jos to get to the pinnacle of his discipline, the 24-year-old appears to have developed a surprisingly pragmatic mindset on future success.
At the Turkish Grand Prix the Dutchman, who is embroiled in a tense F1 title fight withrival Hamilton, stated he was relaxed about the outcome of 2021, saying that "even if we would finish second, I think we’d still have had a great season. At the end of the day, it’s not really going to change my life."
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Speaking exclusively to Autosport ahead of the US Grand Prix in Austin, Verstappen says the realisation that there is more to life than competing has helped form his cool outlook.
"To be honest, for some it does change your life but for me it doesn’t," Verstappen said during a visit to Red Bull fuel partner ExxonMobil, which runs a campus in nearby Houston.
"It is of course my goal, and I will always try to be the best I can be, but it’s not going to change my life in terms of how I live it or what I’m going to do afterwards.
"I see a lot of happy drivers or people who haven’t won a championship. I think whatever you do on track shouldn’t influence your personal life.
"At least I would not be a sore, sad person if I would never win a championship. I will have a lot of things I can also do after Formula 1.
Lewis Hamilton understands Toto Wolff warning in Max Verstappen battle ahead of US GP
Lewis Hamilton has clear goal for Mercedes in the final six races of the Formula One world championship.The championship has swung to and fro this season, with both drivers leading the championship standings at various points in the season.
"For me Formula 1 is one part of your life, but actually the most important is what is outside of Formula 1. Maybe [some] people don’t really know how to deal with that."
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, climbs out of his car in Parc Ferme
Photo by: Charles Coates /
Part of his pragmatism also stems from the fact that F1 drivers are highly dependent on external factors on their quest for success, an unsurpassable reality he is already intimately familiar with.
He was widely tipped to become F1's youngest world champion after his record-breaking maiden win at the age of 18, at an unforgettable 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, but five years on the 2021 season has been his first genuine opportunity to challenge Hamilton and Mercedes, with Red Bull finally able to deliver the equipment to go head-to-head with F1's dominant force.
Max Verstappen responds to claims he would have 'punched' Lewis Hamilton in the past
Red Bull's Max Verstappen responds to recent comments he would've hit Lewis Hamilton after Italian Grand Prix in the past.The two title protagonists had their second collision of the season at Monza, with both drivers ending up in the gravel, with Verstappen handed a three-place grid drop to be taken at the Russian Grand Prix, won by Hamilton.
That allowed Verstappen to enter the final six races of 2021 with a slender six-point lead on the seven-time world champion, but he says he won't suffer nightmares if Hamilton ends up pipping him at the post.
"If I can say later on ‘I’ve won the world championship’ then great, is it amazing and something you dream of, but if it doesn’t materialise because of obvious reasons – where you didn’t have the right package to do so or it just didn’t click or you were unlucky, then so be it," he added.
"It’s not like I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night because of having nightmares about it.
"For me it will not change my life."
ExxonMobil Red Bull Racing graphic
Photo by: ExxonMobil
Toto Wolff expects 'Senna-Prost' crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen .
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are neck-and-neck heading into the final few races of the season.Despite Mercedes' dominance over the years, it is notoriously a track where Red Bull have matched their rivals.