Max Verstappen isn’t happy with just being a dominant F1 World Champion, with the Dutch driver eager to set up his own racing team.
Verstappen is a huge proponent of racing in categories outside of Formula 1, and the two-time World Champion has revealed he already has got plans in motion to set up his own eponymous racing team.
Verstappen is aiming to go racing in the GT3 class of sportcars with ‘Verstappen.com Racing’, with the hope of having the team ready to go for 2025.
GT3 class only the first step for Verstappen.com Racing?
In an exclusive interview with Dutch publication Formule 1 Magazine, Verstappen revealed his plans and said: “This project gives me energy.”
The Dutch driver explained that the project is still “in its infancy”, but that the idea had sprung up from his involvement with Team Redline in online sim racing.
“From Verstappen.com Racing, we sponsor and support in advice and consultancy various racing activities of people close to me,” he said.
“It all started with Team Redline’s sim racing. In addition, with Verstappen.com Racing we are now also active with Thierry Vermeulen in DTM and GTWC Sprint and with my father [Jos] in rallying, but the ultimate goal is to set up our own racing team.
“We will start in the GT3 class and then at some point, we will see where the ship runs aground. If it does strand…
“If I do something, I want to do it well. I want to win, even with this. And it’s about creating a stepping stone from sim racing into GT3. So that you can’t just end up in motorsport via karting, because that costs a lot of money at the moment.”
Setting up racing team always likely following sim racing fury?
During the winter break, Verstappen had become infuriated after technical problems with servers resulted in him getting kicked out of the lead of the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours.
He had branded it a “clown show”, saying: “They can’t even control their own game. This is already the third time this has happened to me, getting kicked off the game while doing this race. It’s also the last time I’m ever participating, because what’s the point?
“You prepare for five months to try to win this championship, you’re leading the championship, you’re trying to win this race that you’ve been preparing for two months, and they handle it like this.
“There have been two red flags, they cancelled the rain, because maybe that’s already a big influence, and people are still getting disconnected, and at one point we were hit by it, and they’re just not dealing with it, because they need even more people to disconnect.
“Honestly, it’s a joke. You cannot call this an event. [It’s a] clown show. That’s why it’s better to retire the car.”
It led Verstappen to consider how he could use his name to further the cause of racing in the lower rungs of motorsport, and said there is no theoretical limit to how far he wants to go with his own racing team – perhaps even to the upper echelons of the World Endurance Championship that he has always shown a keen interest in.
“Well, of course, you never know how things will turn out, but ambitions are always there,” he said.
“It obviously depends on how many good people we have in the team soon and how much know-how there is, but it would be nice if we can grow to the highest level in long-distance racing.”
As for getting the project up from the ground, Verstappen said: “We are working hard on that at the moment. The next step is our own GT3 team. Next year is pretty tight, but I do want it as soon as possible. A GT3 team in 2025, should be possible. With at least two cars then.
“We are also in full swing. The planning phase is over, we are already in action mode.”