Van der Garde: Max will have ‘no issues’ with title pressure

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen speaking to the media at Sochi. Russia September 2021

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen speaking to the media at the Russian Grand Prix. Russia September 2021

Giedo van der Garde does not believe pressure will affect Max Verstappen in any way as he targets the 2021 title.

Red Bull have finally delivered Verstappen a car capable of winning the World Championship in the RB16B, but as far as rivals go it could not get much tougher for the 24-year-old.

Aiming to deny him is seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who has history of his own to make in pursuit of that eighth title which would crown him Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time.

Verstappen, though, is proving he is almost impervious to the pressure, and although it is a type the Dutchman has never experienced before, Van der Garde does not expect it to come into play for his compatriot.

“Of course, if they are still close together at the end, there’s a bit of experience involved in trying to win that title,” Van der Garde told when asked if the mental aspect of this title battle will come into play for Verstappen.

“Because how do you deal with that pressure? Lewis obviously has an advantage in that because he has already won seven world titles and Max has never won a title.

“Max will feel a certain pressure he has probably never felt before. But on the other hand, with what I saw at Zandvoort, where of course everyone expected a victory from him, I do not foresee any issues in that area. He drove the stars from the sky at Zandvoort.”

Max Verstappen drinks champagne in Russia.

Check out all the latest Max Verstappen merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

But whatever pressure Verstappen may feel, Van der Garde spoke of how that can also be turned into a positive force.

“Yes, yes, Verstappen feels pressure, too,” Van der Garde claimed.


“But pressure can also be a good thing. You can turn that into a good result and that’s what everyone needs.

“Verstappen showed that in the Netherlands. Everyone was there for him, in orange, but he performed extremely well. Sometimes pressure is negative, sometimes it’s very positive, and with him it’s very positive.”