File Photo-Formula 1 F1-Turkish Grand Prix-Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey-Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at a press conference in front of the Turkish Grand Prix pool via REUTERS / Sedat Suna on October 7 2021

October 7, 2021

Istanbul (Reuters) – F1 title contender Max Verstappen eased the pressure to fight Lewis Hamilton for the championship and said on Thursday the results would not change his life.

The 24-year-old Red Bull driver is ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday, with six races to go after Istanbul, two points behind seven-time Mercedes world champion and 100-race winner Hamilton.

Verstappen has won seven times this year, compared to Hamilton’s five.

“We are very relaxed, but we are also focused and of course we want to win,” the Dutch driver told reporters. “I just want to do my best so there’s nothing I can force or stress.”

Verstappen said he doesn’t think much about the end result.

“If it’s the end of the year, first of all, that’s an incredible achievement, and that’s our job, isn’t it? He added.

“But even if I finish in second place, I think the season will continue to be great. After all, it won’t change my life.

” I like what I do. I think it is also very important. For me, I don’t really have to worry too much.

Hamilton won the wet and slippery course in Istanbul last year and Verstappen was sixth, but this year’s race was held a month ago and the surface was water-etched for better polish.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso told reporters Verstappen, who became the youngest race winner in history at the age of 18 in 2016, seems to handle pressure better than other players.

“For him it doesn’t seem like a big deal every weekend and he takes it every race. I think this is the right approach for the rest of these races, ”said the Spaniards.

Quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel said he still doesn’t know how it works.

“If you really care about something it’s always cool and hard to control,” said one Aston Martin driver. “Is it useful to manage? I think most of the time, but over time you will find out.

“Will it change her life?” He has to decide if that will happen. On a bigger plan, he’s young and has time. He’s five or six years old, I’m no longer a newcomer. ”

(Written by Alan Baldwin in London, additional report by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Istanbul, edited by Toby Davis)

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