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Max Verstappen

Verstappen urged to change mindset for championship tilt

Max Verstappen may be well-positioned to challenge Lewis Hamilton this season, but F1 writer Lawrence Barretto thinks that the Dutchman may have to alter his mindset after a handful of early mistakes in 2021.

Hamilton Verstappen
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To news overview © Mercedes

F1 writer Lawrence Barretto has claimed that Max Verstappen may need to alter his mindset in order to take the F1 championship title this season.

Verstappen took the chequered flag at Imola last month, but a series of mistakes in the opening trio of races have meant that the Dutchman has won one race rather than two or three.

"He's got to change his mindset completely this year and try and brace for the championship," Barretto stated on the F1 Nation Podcast.

"And sometimes that means he's going to have to settle for second. I think that's what's changed within this year. He's kind of accepting it.

"I do agree that, if Lewis gets to run away with it, as he has done for many years, that is going to crack Max's confidence. But I do think that his maturity and his mindset change will kind of maybe push that further down the year before he starts."

F1 Nation co-host and commentator Natalie Pinkham is optimistic over the Red Bull driver's chances of beating Hamilton, however, pointing to his qualifying pace in Portimao as a sign of things to come.

Verstappen looked very quick, and surely would have nabbed pole position for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix - had it not been for a track limits violation.

"I tell you evidence that Red Bull are setting themselves very high standards and have taken that big step forward. It was when Verstappen said, 'look, the track didn't suit us at all, you know, we lacked pace and grip', and yet he should have put it on pole," Pinkham observed.

"So really, it goes to show how fine these margins are and the standards that they're setting themselves now. It's proof for all the fans out there that Red Bull really are in the mix this time."

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