Max in Sochi: 'I focus on myself'

Published on 23 September 2021 by Stefan Meens

This weekend’s Russian Grand Prix is the fifteenth round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship. Max Verstappen is leading the standings as he prepares for the next instalment of a thrilling season.

Do the stories and opinions about the title battle put pressure on you? “I don’t really mind. I just do my thing and life goes on. I don’t worry about that stuff, that works best for me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that’s fine. I just focus on myself and on working with the team. That’s all I can control and that’s the most important.”

The Red Bull Racing driver adds: “I don’t really get nervous because of it. I get in my car, I have a throttle pedal, a brake pedal, and a steering wheel. That’s what it’s all about. So it doesn’t really matter what is written about me, for me nothing changes. We’re back in Sochi so that’s where the focus lies.”

Despite the Sochi Autodrom appearing to have a versatile lay-out, Mercedes has been undefeated at this circuit. Max explains: “You still have a lot of long straights here and they of course had a good car. We were always trailing a bit, on the straights and in the race. In general, I’m expecting it to go a bit better this year on a dry track, but with a chance of rain, you just never know. Rain is less predictable than a dry track, but I think we’re quick in both situations, so I don’t really have a preference.”

Max concludes: “It’s all in the details in how you can make a difference compared to Mercedes. You can have a good car, but you have extract everything out of it by finding the right set-up. Every weekend, we start from scratch and we have to look how to get the most out of what we have. Some tracks suit a car better than another so it’s a close season and it constantly changes who’s a bit faster. I think it’ll continue until the end like that.”

Contest Russian GP: win a 1:43 scale model Max Verstappen RB12 Japan!