Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen says that even when all appears lost on race day, he spurs himself on with the idea that anything can happen and that one should never give up.
While much has been made of the Red Bull driver's remarkable natural talent, Verstappen's mental strength is equally forceful and reflected in his no compromise approach to his on-track battles as well as in his ability to press on even when the cards are stacked against him.
In an interview with David Coulthard following his coronation in Abu Dhabi and promoted by sponsor CarNext, Verstappen shed some light on his mental approach in the heat of the action on Sundays.
"Well, a lot of things go through your mind," he said. "Every single race, when it's going well or not, you're thinking a lot in your head like 'is this going to go well or not?' and then you see, it's not going to go well!
"But I always keep telling myself 'don't give up. Don't give up, just keep pushing', [and] keep trying to be smooth every lap, trying to hit apexes nice, trying to be nice on tyres.
"That constant telling yourself don't give up…. the last race [in Abu Dhabi] didn't look great, we were way too slow.
"I couldn't keep up and I just kept telling myself something might happen. You never know until the last corner of the last lap.
"So I just kept telling myself 'just do the best you can. Keep pushing, keep pushing yourself'.
"These things come back quite often throughout a race, whether you're in the lead or second or third."
Sitting alongside his world champion son, Jos Verstappen was asked to identify the moment in 2021 that made him the most proud of how his son was performing on track.
"It's hard to name only one thing, because so many things happen during the season," Verstappen Sr. replied.
"But, for me, it is when I see his quali laps in Q3, the way he is driving the car on the limit, like he did in Jeddah, that was an unbelievable lap.
"But, saying that, also in Abu Dhabi, that qualifying lap was unreal. He has such a special feeling in the car, it's incredible."