Ross Brawn believes that Max Verstappen must learn to control his emotions better if he is to become a world champion, saying the Dutchman’s “red mist” came down to his detriment at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Verstappen initially claimed pole position in qualifying, but after challenging the stewards in the press conference after to penalise him for not slowing down during a safety car period, they did just that, and demoted him to fourth.
In the race proper, he aggressively attempted to take on both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas which resulted in him getting an early puncture. He eventually finished sixth after dropping down to 20th.
Brawn thinks it is important that Verstappen matures quickly.
“Max made a few mistakes that cost him dearly,” The F1 managing director wrote in his post-race column.
“Starting on Saturday when he ignored yellow flags following Valtteri Bottas’ Q3 crash, and afterwards blatantly admitting that he had not reduced his speed.
“Then, on Sunday, the red mist came down on the first lap as he tangled with Hamilton in Turn 2 after the start.
“To make matters worse he picked up a puncture following a somewhat ambitious move past Bottas in the stadium section a few laps later. And that was pretty much that.
“There will be little consolation in his spirited fight back to sixth from P20 that involved a marathon 66-lap stint on hard tyres. The Dutchman showed his age or lack of it. He’s still only 22 and so there is plenty of room for improvement.
“The important thing is to learn from one’s mistakes, which applies even if you’re 50 but perhaps a little more so at 22.
“You have to win the ones you should win and the ones you shouldn’t as demonstrated by Lewis – that is how you become a world champion.”
The Red Bull driver has won two races this season in Austria and Germany, but has seen his form dip since the summer break, dropping behind Sebastian Vettel into fifth in the drivers’ championship.