Max Verstappen admits that he didn't do himself any favours during the opening six races of the season. The Dutchman got himself into a series of disruptive weekends, bringing criticism from the fans and the press.
Verstappen made contact with the wall or another driver at the first six events of the year. However, he has since gone on to take nine podiums, including two victories at Austria and Mexico. The 21-year-old almost won last time out in Mexico before he was spun around by Esteban Ocon.
The Red Bull driver has taken the blame for the early season mistakes: “This year, the first six races, I basically f*cked up. Afterwards, we did a much better job. It’s not really changing my approach to how I’m racing.
"I’m still the same person. I’m always going for the gap, you could see that in Mexico as well, I was there to win and not be second. I just wanted it too much initially. I really wanted to try and challenge even with the package we had it was not possible.
“Sometimes my dad told me ‘when I’m going slow, I’m still going fast enough.’ I got that approach back after Monaco, and it seemed to make me faster than I was before, but without mistakes.”
Verstappen's career has been moulded by his father Jos, who is a former Grand Prix driver himself. The former Toro Rosso driver says that he sought out his father early on in the season when he was having issues.
"He’s the only one who really knows me,” Verstappen stated. “We share everything together, so I think it’s always good to reflect, and you can always improve which everybody can. That’s what we did.
“Of course in some critical situations, like it was in the beginning of the year, then of course you talk a lot about it. It would be wrong to be really stubborn and try to fix it yourself, then you always go back to the person who really knows you."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing