Jos Verstappen has highlighted what he believes his son's greatest strength was in 2021, as the young Dutchman wrapped up his maiden World Championship victory in Abu Dhabi in dramatic fashion.
Verstappen earned universal praise for his mental resilience in 2021 as he faced off against veteran World Champion Lewis Hamilton, but father Jos has picked out one particular strength he felt Max showcased during the season.
Speaking in an interview with personal sponsor CarNext, the Verstappens spoke about the 2021 season and Jos was asked where he believed Max was at his best over the course of his championship campaign.
"It's hard to name only one thing, because he gives us so many. So many things happen during the season," Verstappen senior pondered.
"But for me, it is when I see his quali laps in Q3, the way he is driving the car on the limit, like he did in Jeddah," Jos added, despite Max crashing at the final corner of that lap, while four-tenths clear of Hamilton's time.
"That was [an] unbelievable lap," he continued.
"But saying that, also in Abu Dhabi, that qualifying lap was unreal. He has such a special feeling in the car, it's incredible."
"You never know until the last corner"
Max, sitting alongside his dad for the interview, was asked about his mental approach to racing, and what he found most difficult about his championship challenge during 2021.
"Well, a lot of things go through your mind. Every single race, when it's going well or not, you're thinking a lot in your head like, 'Is this going to go well or not?', and then you see, it's not going to go well!" he said.
"But I always keep telling myself, 'Don't give up. Don't give up, just keep pushing', [and] keep trying to be smooth every lap, trying to hit apexes nice, trying to be nice on tyres.
"That constant telling yourself don't give up, keep at it... the last race [in Abu Dhabi] didn't look great. We were way too slow.
"I couldn't keep up and I just kept telling myself something might happen. You never know until the last corner of the last lap. So I just kept telling myself, 'Just do the best you can. Keep pushing, keep pushing yourself'.
"These things come back quite often throughout a race, whether you're in the lead or second or third."
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