Verstappen Responds to Criticism of Online Racing

Max Verstappen has responded to people who have criticized him for competing in an online simulation race this weekend that conflicts with this weekend’s Formula 1 race in Imola.

Comment Verstappen compte cumuler 24H du Nürburgring et GP d'Imola

On the track, Red Bull’s competitors seem to be drawing closer. Lando Norris won in Miami driving a significantly modified McLaren, while Ferrari has since unveiled a noticeably altered vehicle at Imola.

“Don’t trust the appearance,” Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc smiled on Thursday. “What you see doesn’t always translate directly into laptime.”

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez told the media he was in the Red Bull simulator after Miami, where I think we realised we had chosen some wrong settings, which had a huge impact on our speed in the race.”

Max Verstappen beats Lewis Hamilton to get on Forbes' Top 20 highest-paid  athletes of 2024 | Yardbarker

When asked if the growing proximity between Ferrari and McLaren is making his challenge in 2024 more fascinating, Verstappen shrugged.

“It’s never boring for me”, the Dutchman insisted. “I don’t need another team or another driver to have a challenge. It’s always a challenge for me.”

However, some may believe that the quadruple world champion faces too big of a difficulty juggling his modern simulator setup in his on-site motorhome with his F1 responsibilities at Imola.

Verstappen has committed to compete for Team Redline in the virtual racing world this coming weekend during the 24-hour Nurburgring event.

When questioned if he had taken too much on, he argued that: “I do this often.”

Tsunoda is 'on the rise', maar is het een coureur van het kaliber Verstappen?  |

Verstappen was really competing online into the wee hours of the morning during the Saudi Arabian GP weekend earlier in 2024.

Verstappen played that down: “I was trying to stay in the European time zone a bit, going to bed at four in the morning and getting up late.”

He will, however, undoubtedly be in the actual European timezone this weekend, so late-night simulator driving could be viewed as a significant distraction.

“It depends a bit on how it works out,” Verstappen said when asked if he’ll definitely be taking part in the virtual race.

Noticias de Max Verstappen - El Destape

“I don’t have a lot of time on Saturday night and during the day it is of course difficult. But I will go to bed on time, because I have to start (the grand prix) on Sunday with enough rest.”

“I think I’m professional enough to see what is and is not possible”, the triple world champion insisted. “And you can’t decide what people want to do on a Saturday night, can you?”

“Others might go out for dinner or whatever. It’s my free time.”

As for the criticism, Verstappen answered: “I don’t care. With so many years of experience, I know what to do.”