Ferrari team principal claims Max Verstappen making more mistakes with added pressure

Shots fired? Ferrari team principal claims Max Verstappen making more mistakes with added pressure (Source: Getty; @maxverstappen1 Instagram)
Shots fired? Ferrari team principal claims Max Verstappen making more mistakes with added pressure (Source: Getty; @maxverstappen1 Instagram)

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur feels Max Verstappen has become more error-prone with added pressure. The Dutch driver has built a reputation for being metronomic in his approach, as he nails everything throughout a race weekend.

This consistency helped Max Verstappen win as many as 19 races last season. The driver usually approaches a weekend with the aim of avoiding even a single mistake throughout the session. This was something that he achieved admirably in 2023, and the results were there for everyone to see.

The last three races this year have been a bit different, as Max has made a few errors.

In Miami, he ran over a bollard that caused damage to his floor, and he subsequently could not challenge Lando Norris in the end. In Imola, the driver struggled a lot in the free practice sessions, though only to bounce back and nail everything in qualifying and the race.

In Monaco, however, Max Verstappen messed up the braking point at the start of his lap in Q3, and it possibly cost him a top-three slot. That was a mistake from the reigning champion, and while talking to Motorsport, the Ferrari team principal alluded to it as a sign of pressure.

Talking about how Red Bull and Max Verstappen are now facing the heat from Ferrari and McLaren in every race, Vasseur said that the driver was making mistakes that we haven't seen him make in the past. He said,

"If you look at the last two or three weekends, I think Max made more mistakes in Imola than in previous races. If you stay in your comfort zone for strategy, for everything, then make no mistakes."

However, the team principal admitted that Verstappen and Red Bull will be sure to keep pushing back and didn't want to 'draw any conclusions'.

"But I'm not drawing any conclusions. They will be back soon and they will be strong, and I don't think it will be easy at all until the end [of the season]."

Charles Leclerc vs Max Verstappen at Canada?

Fred Vasseur looked ahead to the weekend in Canada and felt that the last few races had shown that things would continue to be close among the top 3 teams. In the last three races, Max Verstappen won in Imola, Lando Norris won in Miami, and then we had Charles Leclerc winning in Monaco.

In all three races, the track demands have been different, and yet we've had all three teams very close to each other. Fred didn't rule out another showdown between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, as he felt that the gaps between the teams going forward would be smaller. He said,

“In Canada, there is almost the opposite of Monaco in terms of speed and downforce, but there are also curb features, a lot of low speed corners, chicanes and so on. Some corners are similar to those in Monaco. But, overall, if we look at the performances of Melbourne, Imola and Miami, with different types of compounds, different asphalts and different layouts, the race will be very close until the end."

Max Verstappen has seen his championship lead shrink to 31 points after Monaco and will be looking to bounce back at a race where he's won for the last two seasons.

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