So you will make mistakes.

So you will make mistakes.

Max Verstappen starts the second half of the season with an 80-point lead over the competition. But don’t start with him about the title. Relax, this would be a mistake. There are still a lot of mistakes.

argan scotten

Will it be in Brazil? Mexico? America? Japan? Or even in Singapore? Max Verstappen fans and – yes – the media are also busy with him. Asking where to circle the calendar with the red marker in the coming months. Where will Verstappen celebrate his second championship? With an 80-point lead over Charles Leclerc and only nine races left, it looks suspiciously like a mission you can’t go wrong.

But Verstappen thinks a little differently about that. When confronted with the story of those red circles in the calendar, he made a dirty face at his favorite Spa-Francorchamps circuit. “Who then does that? Well, we don’t.”

He doesn’t have a dream location where it should happen. The more the better, perhaps? “No, no. I don’t even think about where it should be. Why would you? Kinda stupid now, right? There are still a lot of races. If you start to think about it, you’ll actually make mistakes. You don’t know what.” This season it can happen. There are also teams that have to take penalties. So the focus remains on race after race, and do your best every time.”

Three weekends in a row

So many races, he keeps repeating. Although on paper, that’s okay. The circus traditionally begins again at the spa for what is beautifully called the second half of the season. Secretly, this campaign has already advanced to about two-thirds, with only thirteen and nine races completed in 2022. If it is not yet clear which direction this season will go, it will be after the next one. triple head. This spa is on the weekend, next week Zandvoort and right after Monza. There in Italy Verstappen likely won’t be able to ignore title talk for more than two weeks after the Grand Prix, but in the Ardennes it remains a taboo topic for now.

When a British journalist carefully asks if he can afford a more relaxed attitude to the car at this point, Verstappen throws another look of incomprehension into the room. Relax, that would be a mistake. A lot can go wrong. Our goal is we want to win more races, preferably all of them. Being more consistent, non-stop, that’s what we aim for. Don’t come second or third, and don’t feel Satisfaction when someone else wins. No, be your best self. This is how we work as a team at Red Bull Racing. It’s about being safe and there are nine races left. Leaning back isn’t allowed. If you’re going to do it now, you have to stop. Because So you don’t want it bad enough.”

Don’t get close to comfort

Listen to this Verstappen and you’ll get the impression that he doesn’t look beyond the next session in the car. The lesson from last year is no doubt, as the title fight with Lewis Hamilton literally took the last metres. But when a potentially grabable record suddenly appears, it turns out he really knows the full picture of the historical mission he’s working on. Eight wins and nine races left means Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013) have thirteen wins in a single season.

“If it happened to us, that would be great. But first we need five more wins to equal it,” answers Verstappen, not the statistician. “It’s been very close between us and Ferrari so far. I don’t see that going to change anytime soon.”

He’s done this more than once in the past few months. He emphasized that for the outsider this season, who is so in control, he feels almost uncomfortable with the lightning-fast Ferrari as a competitor. “No one with us thought we’d be like that in terms of points. It’s also not a good reflection of what happened. Every race we’ve had to fight to win. We’ve never been dominant, it’s about very small differences. And I expect it to stay that way for some time.”

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