The Dutchman has a reputation for losing his rag while in the cockpit of his Red Bull if he is annoyed by something. An example came at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, during which he expressed his displeasure as he struggled to warm up his tyres after a pit stop.
The subject came up in a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, after the team hired a psychologist to work with hot-headed AlphaTauri racer Yuki Tsunoda for similar reasons. Reacting to that news, Verstappen said he had never received professional help but warned that he is not likely to stop his own radio outbursts any time soon.
“I didn’t work with anyone but, over the years, you look back at what you could have done better,” he told reporters at the Red Bull Ring. “It doesn’t help the whole team if you come in upset after a practice session because it makes everyone nervous.
“I still get a bit upset on the radio – it doesn’t influence my performance – but if things don’t go well, if something is badly executed, then I have a problem. When the day comes that I am not upset about these things anymore, then I won’t be interested in the sport anymore.
“It is because I care that I sometimes get upset at these things. It is not influencing my performance in the race. Some people are more calm, some are more explosive.”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had used Verstappen as an example of how a driver should behave during a race when explaining why the team had taken action to help “problem child” Tsunoda. The Japanese racer was in hot water at Silverstone after taking out AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly in a botched overtaking manoeuvre.
“We have organised a kind of psychologist to work with him, because he continued to rant in the corners, so that inhibits performance,” he said on German TV. “We should keep our emotions in check. Thank god Max is calm. Our problem child in this respect, not only in this respect, is Tsunoda. He explodes on the radio, you wouldn’t believe it.”
Meanwhile, Tsunoda said he was “happy” to get professional help and admitted he needs to do more to control his temper. “Definitely I get overheated, especially in my brain!” he told reporters. “In these situations he can make me better. I know that I have to improve myself.”