Lando Norris joined Max Verstappen as a surprise guest among a star-studded virtual line-up during an afternoon of sim racing in aid of charities providing help for the Emilia-Romagna region.
Verstappen’s Team Redline sim racing team had been running a variety of races around Imola on Sunday afternoon as part of one of their Real Racers Never Quit streams, which first took place during the Covid-19 lockdowns, brought back after the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix following flooding in the region earlier this week.
Verstappen was among a host of drivers taking part on the stream initially, with the likes of Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich, Alpine reserve Jack Doohan, multiple Red Bull junior drivers and more also getting involved in the name of charity.
McLaren driver Norris had set up his own stream on Twitch as a watchalong of the event to try and raise further awareness and help encourage more donations.
He had not initially planned on taking part in the racing, but eventually set up a steering wheel and joined in the fun in qualifying for the Formula Ford portion of events.
The whole stream took place in good spirits and for his appearance, Norris jumped the start from near the back of the grid, seeing him sail into the lead and proclaim at the top of his voice: “MV1, eat my dust, baby!”
Verstappen quickly reeled him in, however, and passed Norris around the outside at Piratella, seemingly going outside the white lines in doing so and Norris retorted with a smile: “Track limits! FIA!”
Around 25,000 live viewers were watching Team Redline’s Twitch stream as the races were taking place, while a further 13,000 were watching Norris’ version of events from his channel on Sunday.
max: “it’s an inchident!” 😭 pic.twitter.com/afWT0zvfbw
— leclerc data (@leclercdata) May 21, 2023
Several drivers and teams have already played parts in looking to bring awareness to the situation in the Emilia-Romagna region and help how they can, with Ferrari and Formula 1 each donating €1million towards worthy causes in the area.
AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda was also spotted in the region helping with a local clean-up effort near the team’s base at Faenza, and Williams ran a sim event on Saturday with Alex Albon and team principal James Vowles taking part as they also looked to raise money for charity.