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Verstappen on second drivers: They can't live in a fairytale world

The role of a second driver is vital for a Formula 1 team's success, according to Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen believes that drivers taking the role of a number two at a team must "accept" their position. The role of a second driver is seen as one that supports the team's main championship challenger. Often they will sacrifice their position in the race to enable the number one driver to get close to their championship rival, similar to Sergio Perez at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was on the receiving end of being called a "wingman" to Lewis Hamilton during his period at Mercedes, despite being in similar championship-winning machinery. "At a certain point, you realise that it won't happen again. He understands that," argues Jos Verstappen, speaking on Viaplay . "Bottas had that opportunity with Mercedes for many years, and now he drives for Alfa Romeo. I think he is on his last stint in Formula 1. "If you're part of a championship team, you go for it and try. After a few races you realise that it's not going to work."

Max Verstappen: You have to accept your role

Max Verstappen believes Bottas accepted the role as number two to Hamilton at Mercedes, despite challenging for the odd race win and pole position. He added: "Every year he starts fresh, but after a few races you realise it's not going to happen again and you accept your role. He still finished on podiums, he won a few races and took pole positions. "You just have to accept that the driver next to you is just a bit better. That's fine, that can happen." According to Verstappen, it is important that second drivers adapt to their role within the team otherwise it could be at the detriment to the team's progress. "It's important that he accepted it," he said, referring to Bottas. "Some drivers can't do that and then it goes completely wrong. "Then they don't survive for very long. I'm not going to name names, but you have to accept your role. You can't live in a fairytale world."

'You know how good you are', says Jos Verstappen

Father Jos Verstappen says each driver that enters F1 intends to achieve their maximum, but at some point they have to accept that it might not work out that way. He added: "As a driver everyone wants to win when they come into Formula 1. "As soon as you meet someone who you think, 'Jeez, that's fast' and you try everything but you still can't beat them, then you know what your role is and how good you are."

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