Is ‘direct’ Verstappen misunderstood? “The most natural, honest guy on the grid”

Max Verstappen’s “very direct” character is misunderstood, according to a fellow sim racer who knows the two-time F1 world champion better than most. 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference. …

Verstappen’s direct approach has a habit of landing him in hot water, with his opinons about his on-track clashes with rival Lewis Hamilton, or his team orders row with Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, dividing opinion. 

Team Redline online racing teammate and fellow Dutchman Atze Kerkhof, who first met Verstappen during a seat fitting with Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of the 2014 season, believes his character is often misunderstood.

Remote video URL

"How I know Max is completely different from how the world sees him," Kerkhof said in a Team Redline interview. 

"What we do very well in Holland is that we always speak the truth, in terms of what we think - we're quite direct.

"Max is very 'Dutch' when it comes to his communication. He’s very direct and it helps him a lot and the people around him, because you know exactly what he means and what he wants to say, and he's just always direct.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his pole position in…

The 25-year-old, who now has 35 grand prix wins, is aiming for a third successive world title triumph in 2023 after claiming a record-breaking 15 victories from 22 races last year as he stormed to a second successive championship crown. 

Kerkhof claims Verstappen is wrongly viewed as putting on a front despite being “the most natural and honest guy on the grid”. 

"The messed up thing that I see in F1 is that everything is such a show, but you cannot take the truth separate from the acts anymore,” he explained. 

"That's where things get really confusing, where the most natural guy, the most honest guy on the grid is probably seen as someone who is putting up a show by people, and on that part Max is misunderstood.

"But the good part about him is that he doesn't care what people think. He doesn't lose any sleep on what others say about him. 

“Whatever he says in his personal life is often what he says in the media, so it's actually what he really thinks - which makes him unique."

Read More