Brundle shares honest advice for Verstappen, puzzled by ‘villain’ image

Martin Brundle has advised F1 world champion Max Verstappen to be more diplomatic and balanced with his opinions about the sport. 
(L to R): Martin Brundle (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid. Formula 1
(L to R): Martin Brundle (GBR) Sky Sports Commentator with Max Verstappen …

Aside from his incredible on-track success in 2023, Verstappen was a vocal critic of both the F1 sprint and the Las Vegas Grand Prix, branding the event as “99% show and 1% sport” before the weekend had even begun. 

The Dutchman went on to denounce the brand-new street circuit and staged a passionate rant about why he was lacking “emotion” for the race. 

In his final post-race column of the season for Sky following Verstappen’s 19th win from 22 races in Abu Dhabi, Brundle questioned the triple world champion for being a “vocal downer”. 

“Max didn't get everything right, for example when the drivers walked out to the grid for the traditional end of season group photograph there were some boos as he emerged, as we've heard at some other tracks too,” Brundle wrote. 

“He had a very vocal downer on Las Vegas, which didn't make a whole lot of sense to express in that way, although he warmed up to the event on race day after yet another victory.

"I like that Max speaks his mind and I've always found him very refreshing to interview, and also simply to chat to in the paddock. He's very direct and honest, what you see is what you get, and he clearly doesn't care all that much what others think.

"I can't help but feel that a little more diplomacy and balance would be more fitting to the legacy he will leave, and after all, we are all only guardians of this great sport as we pass through.” 

Brundle also expressed perplexity at why Verstappen is still seen as a “villain” by some F1 fans. 

“Of course, he was feisty and a little wild as a teenager when first racing in F1, but he sorted that out and is mostly a model of calm out on track now, and as fair as anybody else when it comes to hard racing,” he added. 

“I don't understand why he's still seen as the villain, but the fans will make up their own minds.

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