Max Verstappen has insisted he does not care how many people follow him on social media – and revealed he might delete his accounts when he retires from racing.
The Dutchman is right up there in the popularity stakes among current F1 drivers, albeit he is in a phase of his career when being successful is the be-all-and-end-all to him.
That is reflected by the title of the recent documentary about the 23-year-old which went by the name of ‘Whatever It Takes’.
Although some drivers enjoy the interaction on social media and, dare we say it, the attention, Verstappen is not among them, preferring to keep his private life exactly that.
“I’m not concerned with the followers. Even though I have over 20 million, what do I care? Who knows, once I’m done racing, whether I will press the delete button and not be heard much more.”
Verstappen is known as being a straight talker and adopts a ‘take me or leave me’ attitude to what he says, having been criticised this year for comments about other drivers over the team radio in particular – not least Lance Stroll during FP2 for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
But he realises he needs to draw the line when it comes to social media posts.
“I know some things are sensitive in the world,” he added. “The situation is different from roughly five years ago, also on social media.
“I realise you can’t say everything. And I certainly don’t. I say it like it is, but I don’t say everything I think. I have such a moment every day, haha.
“You either like me or not. I always have that idea a bit. And you don’t have to look at me, do you? If you don’t like me, don’t do it. I think it’s more important what the people around me say to me. I don’t worry about anything anyway.”
Although there was an insight into Verstappen as a person in the ‘Whatever It Takes’ documentary, revealing too much about himself is not something he wants to do.
“No, I don’t like that at all,” he added. “I don’t suddenly throw my entire private life out on the street. Here at home in Monaco, there are no paparazzi in the bushes.
“I don’t post a lot of personal stuff on Instagram either because I don’t think people need to know. I make an exception sometimes.”