Verstappen: Winning Formula 1 title would not change my life
Max Verstappen insists he is not under any pressure to win the Formula 1 title this season as the Red Bull driver does not believe it will change his life.
The Dutchman trails Lewis Hamilton by two points after 15 races – the smallest margin between the top two at this point since 2006 when Fernando Alonso scrapped it out with Michael Schumacher.
Verstappen recovered from the back of the grid to finish second to seven-time world champion Hamilton in Russia two weeks ago and is seeking his eighth race victory of 2021 at Istanbul Park on Sunday.
Hamilton previously suggested Verstappen would be feeling the pressure as the title race hots up, but the 24-year-old has stressed that is not the case as finishing second would still be an achievement in its own right.
"I always do my best and I know that the team is also doing the best they can," he said at a news conference on Thursday.
"And if that's going to be first at the end of the year – that's of course an amazing achievement and that's what we work for, right?
"But, even if we would finish second, I think we'd still have had a great season. And at the end of the day it's not really going to change my life.
"I mean, I enjoy what I'm doing, and I think that's also very important. For me, there is not much to worry about really."
Verstappen started from the back of the grid in Russia after Red Bull opted to have a new engine installed.
Hamilton may face a similar handicap this weekend as Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed a fourth engine of the season could be fitted to the Briton's car.
That would take the championship leader over the permitted allowance and leave him starting at the back of the grid, but Verstappen will only focus on his own race regardless of where his rival is positioned.
"At the end of the day, I can't control what they're doing," he told Sky Sports.
"It's more important to focus on ourselves and then try to get the best out of that and try to score as many points as possible every single weekend. And, of course, I will try to do that again."
With eight wins this year, Red Bull are one victory away from equalling their third-best season (nine in 2010).
They have only surpassed that in 2011 (12) and 2013 (13), while they have already matched their best total of pole positions (eight) with seven more races in the calendar.