Why Verstappen 'won't have nightmares' if he suffers F1 title defeat

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has opened up on why he thinks winning a Formula 1 world title won't change his life, and why he 'won't have nightmares' if Lewis Hamilton beats him to the 2021 crown.

Why Verstappen 'won't have nightmares' if he suffers F1 title defeat

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 with Mercedes rival 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."

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.

"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

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, climbs out of his car in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

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.

Read Also:

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.

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

ExxonMobil Red Bull Racing graphic

Photo by: ExxonMobil

shares
comments

Related video

Latifi will miss Russell as reference at Williams F1 in 2022
Previous article

Latifi will miss Russell as reference at Williams F1 in 2022

Next article

Alonso would back a third American F1 race

Alonso would back a third American F1 race
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021