How Verstappen stays sharp in summer break: "I still do the same things"

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9 August at 20:35
Last update 9 August at 21:46

Max Verstappen is on holiday, but he will probably still spend plenty of time behind the wheel in his weeks off. Not in the cockpit of his RB18, but in the simulator. The championship leader explains why it is one of his favourite pastimes and how it keeps him sharp for when the Formula One circus continues after the summer break.

Racing games are becoming more and more realistic and are becoming increasingly important for 'real' motor sport. This became even clearer during the Corona pandemic, when all championships were halted and we could follow drivers such as Verstappen, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon in virtual races. The increasing professionalism also makes it a good way for drivers to stay sharp.

Simulator keeps Verstappen on his toes

"It’s becoming more and more professional where it’s the same in real life," says Verstappen in conversation with Sports Illustrated Kids where he is on the cover this month. One has to work on the set-up strategy and prepare seriously before starting a race. Apart from being a fun pastime, his own simulator is also a good way to keep focus during longer breaks.

"For me, it’s like, I never really switch off in a way once I stop racing F1 and I am in my off season. I still do the same things. I do pit stops and overtakes. I have to defend. I do long endurance races with teammates. So once I jump back in the F1 car, it feels like I never left," Verstappen said.