Recent off the again of a shocking victory within the seventieth Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Crimson Bull driver Max Verstappen has mentioned that whereas he appreciates being in comparison with F1 nice Michael Schumacher, he’s his personal man.
The 22-year-old was not too long ago likened to Schumacher by F1 managing director Ross Brawn in his formula1.com column.
“He jogs my memory of Michael Schumacher in some ways,” mentioned Brawn of the Dutchman, earlier than including: “I keep in mind Max’s early days in System 1 the place his velocity was clear – he has now matured into an distinctive racing driver.”
Talking to CNN’s Amanda Davies, Verstappen mentioned: “It was after all very good however I don’t like to check myself to anybody as a result of I’m myself and I’m a special driver.
“After all, you possibly can all the time get some related attitudes or no matter, or you will get in contrast typically however, from my facet, I by no means try this. I simply need to be myself.”
Aged 17 and 166 days, Verstappen grew to become the youngest driver in F1 historical past when he competed within the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. Over time he has, he mentioned, matured as a driver.
“[I’m] extra relaxed, extra constant and know tips on how to construct up a weekend and stuff like that,” he added.
“I simply really feel very comfy … I’m a really relaxed particular person anyway so, for me, it was by no means actually tremendous excessive stress, however I’m extra relaxed in a approach that I do know what’s coming.
“I’ve skilled so much already so going to a weekend, I imply, I’m excited to be racing, however I don’t get excited so much by different stuff surrounding it since you’ve skilled so many alternative feelings all through the entire weekend and the 12 months.”
The Dutch driver’s victory at Silverstone was the ninth of his profession, however crossing the ending line nonetheless excites him.
“Profitable is an effective one,” he mentioned. “A great qualifying lap would possibly excite me. Simply being across the group and dealing with the mechanics, and in addition once they pull off a very good pitstop, it’s an ideal feeling as nicely.”
Verstappen completed forward of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas in sweltering circumstances final Sunday.
Heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen is second within the standings for the drivers’ championship – 30 factors behind world champion Hamilton.
However such has been the dominance of Mercedes up to now throughout this 13-race season – the group leads second-place Crimson Bull within the constructor standings by 67 factors – the Crimson Bull driver didn’t anticipate to be mounting a title problem within the remaining eight races.
“Thus far we’ve had one race the place we have been, possibly, the quickest automobile, however all the opposite ones we weren’t, so we simply have to remain reasonable in the mean time,” mentioned Verstappen, talking from Barcelona.
“From my facet, I’m not enthusiastic about a doable championship in the mean time. I simply need to attempt to do the most effective I can each single weekend.”
READ: Susie Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s criticism of F1 is ‘completely legitimate’
The 2020 F1 season started in July on the Austrian Grand Prix, 4 months later than deliberate due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For the reason that restart drivers have joined F1’s “We Race As One” initiative to battle racism and promote equality and inclusion.
However Verstappen is one among a number of drivers to decide on to not kneel earlier than races in help of the Black Lives Matter motion.
Posting on Twitter earlier than the primary race, he mentioned: “I’m very dedicated to equality and the battle towards racism. However I imagine everybody has the proper to specific themself (sic) at a time and in a approach that fits them. I cannot take the knee immediately however respect and help the private decisions each driver makes.”
Hamilton, the game’s first and solely Black world champion in its 70-year historical past, has been essential of the game, saying there was an absence of management within the battle towards racism.
5 races into the season, Verstappen mentioned that whereas the marketing campaign goes nicely, extra wanted to be carried out.
“It’s gone nicely by way of how we’re expressing it however, after all, on the finish of the day it’s about actions as nicely. We simply hold exhibiting our help, as a result of I believe all people is in help, which is essential, and time will inform after all what’s going to occur,” he mentioned.
Requested about whether or not he and the opposite drivers have spoken to Hamilton concerning the marketing campaign, Verstappen mentioned: “After all we speak about it. We have now our driver briefings however then additionally we keep on, after all, as a result of we’re all members of the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Affiliation).
“Everyone’s very open and all people could be very supportive and all people desires precisely the identical factor. I believe Lewis appreciates that, and it’s not solely Lewis who has to understand that, it’s the entire world. That’s what we’re doing, we’re simply making an attempt to point out our help.”