Max Verstappen ‘very relaxed’ about F1 title battle with Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen is remarkably laid back for a man in a Formula 1 title race.

The 24-year-old is bidding for his first drivers’ championship, and he leads seven-time title-winner Lewis Hamilton by 12 points with five races left this season.

Verstappen, who claimed victory for Red Bull last time out at the United States Grand Prix, knows the title race is likely to go down to the wire against his experienced rival. But the Dutchman is not putting any unnecessary pressure on himself to beat Hamilton.

“Sometimes people take F1 too seriously, like it’s a life-or-death situation,” Verstappen told The New York Times, adding that he is “very relaxed” about this season’s title battle.

“[Drivers think] ‘if I don’t make it to F1, my life is over,’ or something like that. For me, that was never the case and never will be.

“I’m very happy that I am in F1 now, but even if I wasn’t, I would still do something else – racing-related stuff to have fun, to have a good time.”

Verstappen has racked up eight race wins this year, compared to defending champion Hamilton’s five.

“I know that if my car is fast enough until the end of the season, I will win the championship,” Verstappen said.

“But if it’s not, then we probably won’t win it. At the end of the day, it’s not going to change my world.

“Of course the goal, the dream is always to win the championship, but you need to have a bit of luck, you need to have the right car for it to be at the right time of the season or across the whole season.

“It’s a dream from when I was a little kid together with my dad [former F1 driver Jos], to get to F1 in the first place and then trying to fight for a title.

“For sure, it would mean a lot if we can win it.”

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