Max Verstappen may be reunited with former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but does not want to rely on the Australian’s sim work.
One of the sport’s best pairings has been reunited for 2023, even if Ricciardo is in a third driver role, but there remains speculation as to what that will entail for the Australian.
Red Bull have hinted he will be used in promotional events, similar to the role David Coulthard has played in recent years, but that he will also help the team’s F1 preparations with work in the simulator.
Christian Horner has also said that Ricciardo will be available as reserve driver for a few races in the 2023 calendar.
But one driver who would rather do the sim work himself is two-time World Champion Verstappen, who said he would always rather do his own times in the simulator than rely on the results of the test driver.
“I think our simulator is one of the best in the industry,” he said as reported by Speedweek.com. “We feed in data from the vehicle that we collected on the racetrack. Of course, the congruence between simulation and reality is not perfect.
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“The days are very long, but I am convinced that this work is worth it. I also don’t want a test driver to take care of the simulation like other racing teams do. I want to do it myself, because everyone has their own driving style.”
Verstappen has also been elaborating on the tasks he has to do during a weekend, with much of it happening away from the track and away from the fans.
The 25-year-old said that without doubt the most important part was the team meeting.
“The most important meeting is the team meeting in the morning,” the Red Bull man said. “That can take 90 minutes. If everything goes smoothly, this meeting will be over in half an hour. Basically we go through the whole day. Then, of course, there are performances for the sponsors. We have a lot to do.
“In addition, the drivers meet with the race control in the evening after the first two free practice sessions. We sometimes go into events from the past Grand Prix. Or we talk about safety issues of the route. Here, too, the range is wide.
“I’ve sat in meetings that were over in 10 minutes. If a discussion arises, it can turn into an hour and a half. Then we also have a meeting with Pirelli or as part of the GPDA driver association.”