Max Verstappen acquires new racing skill after being ‘pushed to the limits’

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen sits in the cockpit of a drift car.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen sits in the cockpit of a tuned drifting car. [Picture courtesy of Red Bull].

Max Verstappen admitted he was the “most nervous” he had been in the past year or two when taking on another driving skill, when trying out drifting.

The Red Bull driver headed to Milton Keynes to meet drifting master ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett, for a lesson in how to make a modified 600bhp ‘MADBUL’ Mazda drifting car go to its limits.

It was an ambition fulfilled for the two-time World Champion, though he admitted his nerves at the prospect afterwards.

Max Verstappen goes drifting with ‘Mad Mike’

Among the challenges were executing a Figure 8, Scandinavian Flick and a challenge dubbed the ‘Horner Corner’, whereby cut-outs of team boss Christian Horner were laid out on track with his hand enlarged, with Verstappen charged with getting the car as close as possible to him without running over his team principal.

“It was very crazy,” Verstappen said afterwards.

“I mean, I didn’t know what to expect already sitting next to him, and then I had to do it myself. I think it’s probably I’ve been the most nervous in the last one or two years doing that, just because it’s not natural, right? It’s not what I do normally.

“So the first time [doing it] and also I’m on the right hand side of the car, so everything is opposite to me, so that took a little bit of time to get used to. But it was insanely cool.

 

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“You can’t compare it, it’s so different. This is set up to go sideways, our car is basically the opposite, it’s set up to stick and have a lot of rear grip.

“I think it never hurts to do other disciplines. That’s why I’m already driving GT cars, I’m driving rally cars, just to test your skills in a different way and learn from the best in other disciplines, so I think it never hurts.”

Whiddett said: “We really pushed the limits with Max, and I hope he learnt some awesome tricks he can take to the F1 track – drifting is as raw as it gets! I’d love to try out these challenges in an F1 car and see what’s possible in Max’s seat next time.”

Watch Verstappen take on the drifting challenge below, including his attempt at ‘Horner Corner’…

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