MARCH 19, 2018
Verstappen admits he is Marko's new project
Max Verstappen has admitted he is boss Dr Helmut Marko's "new project".
With the future of his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the air, Dutchman Verstappen says it is clear Marko wants him to become the next world champion.
"I am his new project. He wants to repeat the Vettel story and win world championships," Verstappen told Germany's Auto Bild.
20-year-old Verstappen is young and exciting, but many think his aggressive driving style is not yet refined enough for a world championship tilt.
But he insisted: "In a title fight, I would take fewer risks, because a second place can bring you closer to your goal than a failure. It's just a different mental approach.
"Last year I wanted to win at any cost, because I had nothing to lose. But I believe I know exactly what I have to do to become world champion."
Some think that chance could come in 2018, but Verstappen isn't so sure.
"What I want is a much more consistent season than last year," he told Ziggo Sport Totaal. "A lot fewer failures. To win again if possible and the first pole position would be nice."
Verstappen said he is therefore not in a rush to beat Sebastian Vettel's record and become the youngest ever F1 champion.
"I know that records are very important to Sebastian, and for me it would be nice, but records aren't something I really need in my life," he said.
"As long as I am world champion one day, that's the most important thing to me."