The Dutchman missed qualifying at Monaco after a practice crash — yet another crucial mistake in 2018.
“His talent is envied by every driver,” former F1 driver Felipe Massa said in Monaco.
“But he needs to act more calmly. He needs a little more patience and then he will succeed.”
Verstappen’s Red Bull bosses were furious, but team principal Christian Horner said the person most upset was the 20-year-old.
“He’s a very fast driver, we all know that, and this weekend he has a very fast car. What happened is a cruel lesson. It doesn’t get much worse than that,” he said.
“He needs to learn and stop making mistakes. He knows it better than anyone. I hope this incident will convince him to change his approach. I don’t know what else will.”
— Sophia (@ariliza_greys) May 26, 2018
2016 world champion Nico Rosberg said Monaco is a “huge setback” for the young Dutchman.
“He was faster than Daniel Ricciardo and then he crashed at the dumbest moment,” he said.
“He had an almost identical crash in 2016. I wonder if Max is too confident — risking too much. If you’re doing that, there is no track that bites you in the ass more than Monaco,” the German added.
“He hasn’t seemed to learn at all. It’s already the fifth time this year but it’s his fourth season in formula one. You can’t really says it’s inexperience.
“It’s a very dark moment for Max. At the moment everything is going wrong for him but I don’t have much hope for him anymore,” Rosberg told RTL.
Even more brutal is the assessment of F1 legend Niki Lauda.
“What is the solution for him? Changing the brain,” said the Mercedes team chairman.
Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko was visibly livid on Saturday, telling Movistar: “What I have to say I have already told Max.”
When asked what Marko should tell Verstappen, Lauda told Bild: “I would ask him ‘How many times do you want to do the same thing?’
“First, Dr Marko has to tell him this (crash) is not possible while at the same time defending him outwardly. It’s a difficult balancing act and I know it’s not easy.”
Verstappen, having earlier skipped a round of interviews, eventually said he feels supported by Red Bull.
“I have a team that is with me in good and bad times,” he said.
“A year ago we had many technical problems but we continued to work together. It’s the same thing now.”