Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has urged Max Verstappen to show a “little more diplomacy”, to improve is “legacy”.
It’s no secret that Verstappen’s isn’t afraid to say exactly what he’s thinking, something which has often gone down badly.
Ahead of the recent Las Vegas Grand Prix, which was promoted by the sport themselves, Verstappen was highly critical of the event and how it was “99% show, 1% sporting event”.
His father spoke to him in Sin City to get him to watch what he’s saying, as his comments could have a negative impact on the championship based on the fact he is the reigning World Champion.
Brundle is actually a fan of the 26-year-old saying his thoughts and believes it’s actually “very refreshing” but perhaps needs to be reined in slightly to protect the “legacy he will leave”.
“[Verstappen] had a very vocal downer on Las Vegas, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to express in that way, although he warmed up to the event on race day after yet another victory,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“I like that Max speaks his mind and I’ve always found him very refreshing to interview, and also simply to chat to in the paddock. He’s very direct and honest, what you see is what you get, and he clearly doesn’t care all that much what others think.
“I can’t help but feel that a little more diplomacy and balance would be more fitting to the legacy he will leave, and after all, we are all only guardians of this great sport as we pass through.”
Whether it’s because of his personal views or not but Verstappen is often on the receiving end of boos, with the season finale in Abu Dhabi having been no different.
Verstappen was booed by the crowd at the Yas Marina Circuit during a group photograph, which takes place at the end of every season.
The three-time World Champion does seem to have a “villian” status, something Brundle personally doesn’t understand.
“Max didn’t get everything right, for example when the drivers walked out to the grid for the traditional end-of-season group photograph there were some boos as he emerged, as we’ve heard at some other tracks too,” Brundle added.
“Of course, he was feisty and a little wild as a teenager when first racing in F1, but he sorted that out and is mostly a model of calm out on track now, and as fair as anybody else when it comes to hard racing.
“I don’t understand why he’s still seen as the villain, but the fans will make up their own minds.”
Despite the boos at the start of the week, it was still the Dutchman who was victorious in the final race of 2023, taking hit total for the year to 19 victories.