Verstappen welcomes being ‘a talking point’ in F1

Max Verstappen says it’s always positive to be at the center of the attention in Formula One, though the Red Bull ace insists the close scrutiny “does really not affect me”.

The youngest F1 race winner’s meteoritic rise through the sport has earned him many fans and plaudits. However, Verstappen has also ruffled a few feathers along the way and come under fire for his robust driving style.

“I always consider it very positive when you are a talking point in F1.” the 18-year-old said ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. “Whether this is negative or positive, it does not matter. As long as they talk about you, it’s a good thing.

“The attention does not really affect me. For me, the most important thing is to deliver on track and that’s what I’m focussing on.”

This season’s Sepang event will see Verstappen return to the scene where he became the youngest F1 points scorer ever by finishing a strong seventh for Toro Rosso, aged 17 years and 180 days.

“My memories from the race in Malaysia last year are very positive,” Verstappen recalled. “ The weekend started off pretty difficult but we managed to turn it around… even in qualifying already (he was sixth on the grid) and then in the race I did not have an easy start but from there on I enjoyed it.

“There’s good racing on that track where the humidity is a bit harder on your body but that makes it also more interesting so I am looking forward to going back there.”

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