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Max Verstappen

Verstappen unconcerned by criticism from rival fans: I shouldn't adapt myself

Max Verstappen is unfazed by the criticism he sometimes receives from rival fan groups, and says he will not adapt to please everybody.

Verstappen France
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen is adamant that he will not change who he is because of criticisms from rival fan groups.

Fan behaviour has been brought into the spotlight in 2022, with booing and sarcastic cheering from supporters being criticised by key F1 personalities.

Some of the fan focus has been directed at Verstappen, following an intense championship battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2021.

When asked about the fan behaviour, Verstappen suggested that he understood the reasons for their intensity, but insisted he felt no need to adapt his personality.

"When you are the one fighting their favourite driver, it becomes a bit more intense, because it's personal," Verstappen told Channel 4.

"A Lewis fan doesn't really care about someone who's finishing P18, but it becomes a little bit more heated when you are the direct rival.

"That's fine, but I shouldn't adapt myself to what a fan likes, because I am me and I'm not going to change because then you're fake, and if somebody doesn't like me, that's fine."

Verstappen keen to avoid "wasted energy"

Despite the 2022 championship battle appearing to be less spiky than last season, it is widely accepted that this season's fan behaviour is an overspill from the 2021 championship.

Verstappen continued to say he was unfazed by people disliking him, adding that it wouldn't affect him doing his job.

"Everyone has different personalities, and I'm the same of course. I like people, I dislike people, but that's life, and you don't need to live with everyone around you," added Verstappen.

"Everyone has their own life and deals with their own stuff, and that's how I go about it as well, and I just focus on my job.

"I love racing and I love winning and of course you need luck with that as well, with having the right car and the right people around you.

"I also don't really think about it too much, I don't picture myself as a fan of someone else, or another driver and what he thinks about me, because it's just a bit of wasted energy as well."

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