Max Verstappen clarifies F1 ‘anger’ after outbursts at Red Bull chiefs

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Two-time world champion Max Verstappen is proof of the benefits a competitive spirit can bring to an arena like Formula 1. However, his often-aggressive approach on the track has earned him a reputation as one of the less likeable personalities in some circles.

It’s not uncommon for Verstappen to be heard venting frustrations at those in the Red Bull garage on any given race weekend. The 2022 season started with an expletive-ridden rant at his team during the Bahrain Grand Prix, then vented over radio when his DRS failed to fire in Barcelona.

But the 25-year-old doesn’t believe his “upset” goes as far as anger on the track. Instead, Verstappen told The New York Times it takes more than a race not going to plan for him to truly hit the roof.

“Yeah, because I’m upset that things are not going right,” the Dutchman detailed. “For me, that’s not even actually being angry. That’s maybe how other people perceive me being upset, but I think me being really upset, that happens very, very rarely.”

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Red Bull overcame their early-season struggles as Verstappen ulitmately finished 146 points clear of his closest competition, Charles Leclerc. However, that didn’t prevent him denying team-mate Sergio Perez sixth place when he refused to yield a position he did not need at the Brazilian GP in November.

That was the most recent example of Verstappen blowing up at his own employers, telling his team ‘not to ask again’ following their pleas to aid Perez. But despite his numerous outbursts over the years, the second-youngest two-time champion in F1 history is assured many may have the wrong impression.

“People might think differently, but I’m actually quite calm,” he continued. “I don’t really get upset with many things. It just doesn’t bother me. I know what I have to do here [in F1], and that’s trying to drive as fast as I can on track.


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“When I go home, I also want to do other things, but it doesn’t take a lot of energy for me to keep switching between the two, because I do find what I do is super important but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t really work out. That’s how I’ve always seen it, but I know that once I jump in the car, I will always try to get the best out of myself, and also out of the team.”

That pursuit of perfection has proved prudent for Verstappen and his team thus far as he targets a third straight world championship in 2023. It’s likely those at Red Bull would willingly accept more tantrums if the titles continued to follow, with a little ‘upset’ a small price to pay for becoming the dominant force in F1.

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