Max Verstappen: all-nighter with sim-racing before Jeddah GP

Columns: Close Up
The three-time Formula 1 world champion - later the hands-down winner of the Grand Prix - was the protagonist of a viral online moment, in an unusual episode that captured the attention of Formula 1 fans and eSports enthusiasts. (ab)

A clip of Max engaged in a sim-racing session at 4 AM (albeit without his usual equipment and equipped with a controller), on the eve of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, raised curiosity and admiration within the online community. Verstappen, known for his skill not only on real tracks but also in virtual ones, explained in the post-race press conference the reasons behind his choice to stay up late. The Dutch driver revealed that he maintains a schedule more aligned with that of Europe or Britain, which is why going to bed at 4 in the morning is not unusual for him during the racing season. His dedication to sim racing extends beyond just a hobby, having founded his own team, Team Redline, with which he spends time relaxing and socializing away from the pressures of Formula 1.
This interest in driving simulation is not only an escape from the champion's routine but also a way for Verstappen to train during the ‘down time’ of the year and to stay connected with a community that shares his passion. Despite his busy schedule and speculations about his future with Red Bull, arising from uncertainty about the continuity of key figures such as Helmut Marko, Verstappen has found sim racing to be a valid tool for distraction and enjoyment. His involvement in eSports competitions, such as winning the virtual 24 Hours of Daytona in January, testifies to the importance of this aspect in his life. In addition to clarifying the circumstances of the viral video, Verstappen also reassured fans and the team about his staying with Red Bull, despite rumors regarding his potential departure due to internal dynamics. With a contract tying him to the team until the end of the 2028 season and a phenomenal start to the season that already sees him leading the championship with a 15-point advantage over teammate Sergio Perez, Verstappen's attention seems to be well balanced between reality and the virtual world, demonstrating a versatility that goes beyond his undisputed mastery on the track.


Created by: fmarangon2 - 13/03/24

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