File photo: Srdjan Suki / EPA
London - Max Verstappen’s father Jos has advised the Red Bull driver to think more carefully after his recent botched overtaking manoeuvres drew criticism and calls to calm down.

Verstappen Jr was handed a 10-second penalty after Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix for colliding with Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel, sending both cars spinning.

“That wasn’t possible,” former F1 racer Jos said of the rash move. “It was an error of judgement. In some circumstances Max just has to think more. I don’t want him to change his driving style. He passed two people at the start. He did that perfectly. That’s what we all want to see.

“But we don’t want to see these kinds of actions. He needs to have it under control. He needs to think.”

Verstappen also lost ground when he tried and failed to pass Mercedes’ world champion Lewis Hamilton, with whom he had tangled in Bahrain a week earlier - and came off second-best, as he had to retire from the race after that incident.

'He messed up' 

Verstappen might have won in China had he been less impatient, with victory going instead to Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who pulled it off with a series of thrilling overtakes.

Commented 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg on Sky Sports television: “He took out the world championship leader and his team-mate won it in an incredible way. This is going to be a tough lesson and maybe it’s those kind of days which are going to make a young driver like Max make that necessary progress.

“But he’s an incredible driver. He just needs to fine-tune and take a little bit of aggression out. It’s just too much.”

'Nobody can help him'

Former triple world champion Niki Lauda, who is now non-executive chairman of Hamilton’s Mercedes team, said Verstappen had to change his approach.

"When you compete in more races you should get more clever," he said, "especially when you want to win or challenge for the championship. But he is going the other way. He needs to sort himself out.”

Verstappen held his hands up on Sunday and accepted blame, seeking out Vettel to apologise. Team boss Christian Horner said the winner of three races, now in his fourth season, had made mistakes but that was only to be expected.

“I remember when we had Sebastian at a similar stage of his career, it wasn’t uncommon that he also made some mistakes,” Horner said. “He’s a phenomenal talent and he’s smart enough to recognise areas that he needs to work on. I have no doubt he'll address it.”