|It’s not uncommon for a Formula 1 driver, or indeed any high level athlete or sports team, to deliver an outstanding performance on the back of a string of defeats.
After all, the purpose of failure is to dig deep inside, reassess and inspire change. Failure, when well managed, is the perfect catalyst for change, personal development and progress.
Max Verstappen likely underwent a lot in of introspection after Monaco, and a few pep talks to boot in order to polish up his psyche but especiallyhis discipline.
Interestingly, the young Dutchman arrived in Montreal on his own, with neither father, family, manager or entourage in tow, a collective decision from both driver and team according to Red Bull’s Christian Horner, and one that forced Max to immerse himself into his job without any outside distractions.
The result for Verstappen was perhaps the best race weekend of the season. No mishaps, no flaws, not a single brush with Montreal’s hungry walls, nothing but an impeccable and clean display of ability and speed, from Friday’s first practice sessionto Sunday’s chequered flag.
Horner noted however that his driver’s performance was not devoid of aggression as he went wheel-to-wheel with several of his opponents- like with Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap of Sunday’s race-but without ever stumbling or forcing the issue.
“You don’t want to defuse that,” said Horner. ‘That’s part of what makes him so exciting. He had a very clean weekend. I’m sure it’ll give him a bunch of confidence heading into the next batch of races.”
“He is such an exciting talent and in any sport you see sportsmen have periods where things don’t go quite as well for them as others and that has been very public for him.”
Only time will tell if the 20-year-old’s’one too many’ Monaco misstep and subsequent Montreal improvement will have been the steppingstones toa new and improved Max Verstappen.
If so, it will have provenonce again that failure is life’s greatest teacher.
Phillip van Osten
Editor of F1i.com