Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Previews 956996244
Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Previews 956996244

Red Bull tells Max to pull his head in

RED Bull's Max Verstappen has been urged to change his approach to F1 after enduring another disappointing race weekend due to a costly mistake.

Verstappen started the Monaco GP at the back of the grid after carelessly crashing into the barriers in Practice Three, only salvaging two points from the race as teammate Daniel Ricciardo took victory in an impressive RB14.

Though Red Bull continue to back their highly-rated driver, Verstappen has now either had a collision or spun in all six grands prix this year and Christian Horner hopes the Dutchman's latest setback will prompt him to alter his style.

"He has a very good teacher in the car next door to him," the Red Bull team principal told reporters in Monte Carlo. "Max has an abundance of talent but he has had some harsh lessons this year. A modified approach would benefit him."

"I think he'll approach (the next race in) Montreal in a slightly different manner," Horner added.

Former world champion Nico Rosberg said it was clear Red Bull is running out of patience.

"I just hope Max will start thinking about it. He needs to change his approach, it's too much and it's costing him so much," Rosberg said.

"I hope that he'll learn and if he ever wants to win the world championship, he has to start learning."

F1 expert Martin Brundle concurred. "When Verstappen threw away victory back in China while running into Vettel, I mistakenly thought it would be the turning point for him to begin to play the percentages better and choose his battles more carefully," Brundle said.

"By hitting the barriers in free practice three on Saturday morning he threw away yet another glorious chance of victory, and for the first time his team bosses publicly demonstrated that even they are running out of patience with their golden boy.

"He mustn't waste his amazing talent by brazenly brushing off so many incidents as unimportant or not his fault.

"Watching Ricciardo on the podium and in the post race celebrations must have dented even his supreme self confidence. We need him on peak form and with all four wheels pointing in the same direction, he's F1's future along with some other fast boys."

Max Verstappen has a ‘very good teacher’ in Daniel Ricciardo. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen has a ‘very good teacher’ in Daniel Ricciardo. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Verstappen took responsibility for his P3 shunt, which caused an irreparable gearbox problem and meant he couldn't take part in qualifying, and he had to watch on as his teammate romped to pole.

Battling through the field while Ricciardo hung on for his second win of the season, Sunday may have been Verstappen's harshest lesson yet.

"You are going to get a thousand different opinions but the only person who can address it and deal with it is Max," added Horner.

"This weekend was very painful for him. He needs to go away and reflect on what could have been and should have been and apply that for the future."

But the Red Bull chief also admitted Verstappen is working too hard as he looks to overcome his toughest period in F1 since bursting into the sport as its youngest-ever driver three years ago.

"We talk weekly and what frustrates him is that he is working harder than ever and it feels like he is trying a bit too hard at the moment," explained Horner. "When you get into a spiral, you try harder.

"Max is doing his learning in a very public arena. Most guys would have gone through this in a lower formula which you wouldn't have seen. I'm sure he will emerge on the other side."

Verstappen's F1 2018 incidents

Australia - Race - Spun and lost places

Bahrain - Q1 - Crashed into barriers

Bahrain - Race - Collided with Lewis Hamilton

China - Race - Went off trying to overtake Hamilton

China - Race - Collided with Sebastian Vettel

Azerbaijan - Race - Collided with Daniel Ricciardo

Spain - Race - Made contact with Lance Stroll

Monaco - P3 - Crashed into barriers

This article was originally published by Sky Sports and reproduced with permission.


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