Following a string of high-profile incidents for Max Verstappen, team boss Christian Horner admits that the young Dutchman could benefit from adjusting his approach to racing.
Verstappen has suffered from self-inflicted contact at each race event so far in 2018, most recently crashing in final free practice in Monaco. The incident prevented Verstappen from qualifying and taking a possible victory, which instead went to his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who battled MGU-K failure to narrowly win.
Verstappen’s Monaco crash follows incidents in Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan in which he made contact with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Ricciardo respectively.
“He needs to go away from this weekend and reflect on what could have been, what should have been, and apply that for the future,” Horner told Autosport.
“He has a very good teacher in the car next door to him.
“Max has an abundance of talent. He’s had some harsh lessons, obviously, this year and I think a modified approach will benefit him.
“What’s frustrating is that he’s working harder than ever. He feels fitter than ever and it feels like he’s trying a bit too hard.
“When you get into a spiral you try harder. You have to hit the reset button.”
Horner described Verstappen’s Monaco weekend as “very painful” despite a recovery drive that saw him claim two points for a ninth place finish. It means that Verstappen lays sixth in the championship, thirty-seven points behind Ricciardo and seventy-five points behind Hamilton in the lead.
“Giving away points and damage is expensive on two counts,” said Horner.
“It’s costing money to repair the car and you are giving away valuable points in the constructors’ championship, and we should be right there with Mercedes and Ferrari.
“We have given away probably over 60-65 points this year.
“We need both drivers performing at an optimum to be able to fight with those two teams.”