Max Verstappen: Race should have gone to this Red Bull Racing driver, not Sebastian Vettel

F1 racer Max Verstappen says he feels safe behind the wheel. The 19-year-old Dutch driver is known for his loud comments. At last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, he shouted at eventual race winner Sebastian Vettel: “Shut the **** up. I give you half a car!”

Now Verstappen is basking in the admiration of fans and racing executives for winning his second career Grand Prix on Sunday. Driving for Red Bull Racing, he beat team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 1.2 seconds in Abu Dhabi. It was a victory that was overshadowed by the feud between Ricciardo and Verstappen.

“I think it’s a good feeling to be a top racer and everybody is happy,” Verstappen said Monday. “It’s great to have a success under pressure. It’s not that easy to just drive in a position all the time.”

Verstappen scored a victory in Argentina last weekend in the penultimate race of the season. He’s the first Dutch driver to claim two career Formula One victories, and they have followed a quite a turbulent stretch for the Red Bull Racing team.

Ricciardo drove a brilliant race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, moving from fifth to second behind Verstappen with six laps remaining. But he failed to overtake Verstappen and Ricciardo felt he should have crossed the line first.

Instead, Verstappen had to settle for second-place after a late collision caused Ricciardo to lose control and spin out of the race.

“We should have won it. We had an extra lap,” Ricciardo said. “Then I hit somebody behind, which takes away almost four seconds from that position. We both drive well, maybe you should just kind of leave it for me.”

As for Verstappen, he praised Ricciardo for being a great racing driver.

“You won’t see me behind him, saying ‘Shut the **** up,’” Verstappen said with a laugh. “I know he’s not going to race me like that. He’s one of the best drivers and we’re always happy with each other.”

“It’s great having a rivalry. It makes the sport exciting. … I don’t say it often, but when you’re driving with another driver, sometimes you have to have something a little bit extra. That’s life in Formula One.”

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