Max Verstappen's Busy Double-Victory Weekend

Image: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen won the 2024 Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, but the Dutchman is also an avid sim racer - so he also took the win at the iRacing Nürburgring 24 Hours Special Event on the same weekend.

Racing drivers used to run everything on four wheels back in the day. Got a weekend off from F1? Time for a World Sportscar Championship round, a Formula 2 race or something else entirely. Seeing the big names cross over to other series was not an exception, but rather a frequent occurence.

Of course, times have changed since then, with many series requiring drivers to heavily specialize in them. The days of the top dogs driving everything they could get their hands on are unlikely to come back. But that does not mean that there are other ways to get more of a racing fix. Exhibit A: Max Verstappen, reigning Formula One World Champion.

The Dutchman made headlines ahead of last weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when he stated that despite the F1 race, he still intended to run the iRacing Nürburgring 24h Special Event with Team Redline. Verstappen is known to be an avid sim racer, and has stated that he has done sim racing on F1 race weekends before. It almost feels like Verstappen is a sim racer who just so happens to be the man to beat at the pinnacle of real motorsports.

A Rig In The RV​

How did the 26-year-old make it happen, though? It was rather simple: Verstappen put in his stints on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, in between F1 sessions and other obligations a reigning F1 World Champion might have. After grabbing Pole Position for the F1 race, of course.

As Verstappen is frequently doing simulator laps even on racing weekends, it should come as no surprise that Helmut Marko once stated that his private jet also holds a rig - which Verstappen denied, however. For the European rounds of F1, he has taken delivery of a new one to travel with him in his motorhome - a Reddit post shows the setup to be quite high-end, too.

While the available photos do not reveal too much, it looks like Verstappen runs a Simucube wheelbase on an aluminium profile rig, what looks like an Ascher Racing McLaren Artura Ultimate wheel (correct us if we are wrong, please!) and even an additional display unit - a setup many sim racers would dream of having at their home, never mind in an RV.

The rig effort paid off: In between getting Pole and then fending off Lando Norris for the win at Imola, Verstappen and his teammates Chris Lulham, Diogo Pinto and Florian Lebigre got the Team Redline BMW M4 GT3 to the top of the top split's grid - and kept it there until the end.

The final quarter of the top split race.

Occasions like this make it seem like Verstappen is a sim racer who also does Formula One as a hobby, in a way. It certainly shows how much he loves racing and competing on track - be it a real or a virtual one. And it was not too long ago that it was unthinkable to run into a reigning F1 World Champion in sim racing - could you imagine randomly battling it out with Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton?

Make no mistake, all of them had and have a fierce drive to compete when in F1, so it is possible that they would have been in a rig once they were out of the car if they were from the same generation as Verstappen. Either way, for sim racers, it is remarkable that one of the most popular and successful real-life racing drivers in the world is just as passionate about this hobby of ours than many of us are.

Were you surprised by Verstappen's double duty at the Imola GP weekend? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D


curious to learn about, man runs his own racing business (or has people running it for him, probably). little did i know.
Max is seriously just one of us. Well obviously FAR more talented and skillful. If I had his life/talent I'd be keeping a rig in my RV/Jet for sure to. I'd be doing Simracing and Real Racing just like him. I saw some F1 "news" complaining about him doing that iracing and F1 race. Him winning Imola and the 24hr was the middle finger that he gave to that Ferrari fan but to the "News" Reporters.

curious to learn about, man runs his own racing business (or has people running it for him, probably). little did i know.

The website has been running since Jos (his father) was racing... I remember trying to purchase some A1GP merch via their webshop when "The Boss" was driving for Team Netherlands, but paying online back then was cumbersome and a hassle (or maybe I was the cumbersome one haha!)... it looked very different back then of course, check it via the Wayback Machine:

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