Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has said that he believes he is good at staying out of trouble, and insisted that he doesn’t race other drivers in an overly aggressive manner.
The Dutch ace saw his 33-point lead in the Championship take a major blow after he suffered a DNF in the British GP due to a first-lap collision with Sir Lewis Hamilton.
And, after finishing P9 in the Hungarian GP as a result of a first corner multi-car collision that was created by Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen now trails Hamilton by eight points.
Verstappen didn’t receive a penalty for either incident (Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty for the Silverstone collision, and Bottas was given a five-place grid drop for causing the dramatic crash in Hungary), but he has nevertheless been criticised on a number of occasions for being too aggressive when racing wheel to wheel.
Speaking this week, Verstappen said he believes he just races hard and isn’t particularly aggressive when battling other drivers.
“I feel like I just race hard. I don’t feel like I race aggressively,” Verstappen said in an interview with The Race.
“Of course, I will make it difficult if people try to pass me. I will always try to make it difficult for them, to put them in difficult positions.
“But I think my awareness of where I can position my car is really good and I haven’t been involved in having another car off the track. I have zero penalty points. I think that says quite a lot.
“I’ve been racing hard my whole career. And the last few years, the aggressive approach is out. I’m just making it more difficult for people.
“Of course, some people might think a bit different about that, but I actually think the racing side is a really strong point of mine and I also really know how to stay out of trouble.
“But that’s not always in your hands if other people drive into you,” he concluded.