Max Verstappen says he wants to stay 'neutral' in reaction to those comparing his headline-grabbing performance in the Brazilian Grand Prix to the great Ayrton Senna.
The Dutchman starred in treacherous conditions at Interlagos, scything from 14th to third in just 12 laps during the closing stages, an effort that drew adulation across the F1 paddock and prompted comparisons to Senna's renowned prowess in the wet by Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner.
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However, while Verstappen says he appreciates the lofty praise, he says he wants to remain 'neutral' and not allow himself to be overawed by the hype.
“It's nice for sure but it's also very important to stay neutral about it,” he said. “That was a great race, but it's finished now and I'm focusing ahead. The day after I was still very happy with the performance, that's for sure. It was, like I said, very difficult and at the end I was also just very happy to finish the race. The last sector was very difficult to drive, so on the last lap I was very happy that was the last lap of the race.”
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Coming into this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale with a shot at snatching fourth place off Sebastian Vettel, though Verstappen admits there would be some satisfaction in beating the Ferrari driver following their infamous run-ins this year, he says the fact he started the season with Toro Rosso means he would be thrilled with a top five regardless.
“It would be nice to be ahead, but for the first four race I was not ahead. You always lose points already, so I can just be happy to be that close.
“If I finish fourth it will be a bonus, but if I finish fifth that's fine for me as well. At the end of the day it doesn't make a massive difference because I'm only here to finish first – even second, I don't care.”
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