Max Verstappen has had a stellar start to the 2021 Formula 1 season, with the Red Bull car looking a strong contender for the championship up against the dominant Mercedes and Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutchman took his first victory of the season in the last race at Imola after narrowly missing out against Hamilton at the season opener in Bahrain, and this year is set to be a tight fight between Red Bull and Mercedes for both the drivers' and constructors' championship.
Speaking to RacingNews365.com and other select media ahead of this weekend's race in Portugal, Verstappen said he and the team had to adopt a different attitude to previous seasons if they are to challenge Mercedes for the title this year.
"I don't think you lose speed (by avoiding mistakes), it's just choosing your moments when to shine. You have to understand when it's not your day it's not your day, you have to settle for a certain result," he said.
"Whereas in the past of course we had sometimes a car where we could win races but we knew we were not in a championship fight, so you might risk it a bit more. Of course when you are in a championship fight, or at least you know that you have a car which can be competitive, more often, your approach does change a little bit.
"Because you cannot afford to lose too many points in a weekend where let's say you're not at your top level. So I think that's what we always have to make sure that even if let's say we don't have a perfect weekend, we still score a lot of points."