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Max Verstappen swaps Red Bull for Ferrari as 10-race winning streak emerges

Daily Express logo Daily Express 23/03/2023 Benjamin Goddard
F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia © Getty F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia

Two-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen has swapped his Red Bull for a Ferrari during a brief break from F1 duties. When not competing in F1, the Dutchman is often playing sim racing for Team Redline and has been competing in the IMSA iRacing Series.

F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia © Getty F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia

Verstappen has been racing alongside Indycar and McLaren reserve driver Alex Palou in a virtual Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. Like on the F1 circuit the Dutchman has proved a formidable opponent building a 10-race winning streak - with his latest coming at the GT3 virtual series Sebring International Raceway event.

The Red Bull star is used to racing away from his rivals on the F1 grid and did the same virtually - winning one race by almost 20 seconds. With a break in the F1 schedule this weekend Verstappen could increase his online streak at the iRacing 12 Hours of Sebring.

Speaking last year during an interview with sponsor CarNext, the 25-year-old said how sim racing improves his performance in F1. He said: "It keeps me ready to go, because I'm spending a lot of time also then on the setup. I'm not racing a Formula 1 car on the simulator, but it's like GT cars, so it's also a different technique of driving. I just keep testing myself, and especially these sim drivers... they're so quick!

READ MORE: Max Verstappen converts supervillain-style plane to include F1 simulator to drive in air

Max Verstappen © Getty Max Verstappen

"It's very interesting to see them drive because they have no real experience of a car but, somehow, when you look at how they're braking, how they're controlling, it is how it should be." Verstappen showed how serious he takes sim racing when the Team Redline star and his team-mates were disconnected from the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race while in the lead.

Speaking on his Twitch stream after being forced to withdraw from the race due to connection issues the Red Bull star fumed: "They call it amazingly bad luck...well this is just incompetence. They can't even control their own game. This is already the third time this has happened to me now, getting kicked off the game while doing this race.

Heineken┬« F1 Announcement © Getty Heineken┬« F1 Announcement

"This is also the last time I'm ever participating because what's the point? You prepare for five months to try and win this championship, you are leading the championship, you try to win this race which you have prepared for two months and they handle it like this.

"Honestly, it is a joke. You cannot even call this an event. It's a clown show. That's why it's better to retire the car because driving around in P15 for six hours makes no sense for everyone. It's game over. I think I have more chance if I go to Vegas and go to the casino, I have more chance to win."

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