Verstappen: Drivers must adapt to the number two role.

Max Verstappen believes that drivers who take the number two position in a team must “accept” this role.

The duty of a second driver is seen as supporting the team’s primary title contender. Like Sergio Perez at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, they often give up their position in the race to allow the leading driver to get close to his title rival.

Despite driving a car that won championships, Valtteri Bottas was dubbed Lewis Hamilton’s “wingman” during his time at Mercedes.

This often leads to most fans being divided on whether drivers receive equivalent machine and vehicle upgrades over the course of a season.

Speaking on Viaplay, Jos Verstappen remarked: “At a certain point, you realise that it won’t happen again. He understands that.”

“Bottas had that opportunity with Mercedes for many years, and now he drives for Alfa Romeo. I think he is on his last stint in Formula 1.

“If you’re part of a championship team, you go for it and try. After a few races you realise that it’s not going to work.”

Although Bottas occasionally fought for race wins and pole positions, current world champion Max Verstappen believes Bottas accepted the number two role behind Hamilton at Mercedes.

“Every year he starts fresh, but after a few races you realise it’s not going to happen again and you accept your role,” said Verstappen

“He still finished on podiums, he won a few races and took pole positions. You just have to accept that the driver next to you is just a bit better. That’s fine, that can happen.”

Verstappen claims that second drivers must adapt to their position within the team so as not to impede the progress of the entire group.

“It’s important that he accepted it,” he said, referring to Bottas. “Some drivers can’t do that and then it goes completely wrong.

“Then they don’t survive for very long. I’m not going to name names, but you have to accept your role. You can’t live in a fairytale world.”