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Verstappen enjoys sim racing, but 'you really do miss that'

Verstappen enjoys sim racing, but 'you really do miss that'

14 January - 11:33 Last update: 15:36


Max Verstappen gets behind the wheel for a race for the first time in 2023 this weekend. A virtual one, in this case. The Formula One world champion is competing in virtual the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On Friday, the Dutchman's Team Redline qualified fourth. Verstappen was not yet competing.

For Verstappen, sim racing has become an important part of his career. The few weekends he is not on the away to drive a  Formula 1 car, he regularly competes in virtual races. With men like Verstappen and also Lando Norris, for example, sim racing has really been accepted as a sport in its own right, the Dutchman reveals in conversation with The Washington Post.


According to Verstappen, many racing drivers love getting behind the wheel of a simulator in their spare time. According to the Dutchman, the opposite is also possible, but less obvious: "I still think that for people who grew up only using a simulator, it’s quite a big step to go straight into real-world racing. But we’ve seen that happen before, so nothing is impossible."

Verstappen enjoys the virtual races, but also sees that there are serious differences with real racing. "Yeah, you really do miss the G-force. And in real racing, a lot relies on what you feel through the wheel. I must say, though, that simulators are getting quite accurate — I would say it’s now 90 percent accurate to a real racecar."

Another difference is how fit you need to be to race virtually. "Another key difference is there is a certain physicality to real racing — you need to be fit and well trained. On a simulator, even if you don’t have that, you can still manage to be really quick," Verstappen said.