Eat, sleep, race, repeat: Max Verstappen’s late-night streaming sessions in Saudi Arabia

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen celebrates in Saudi Arabia.

Max Verstappen won his ninth consecutive race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has been something of a night owl in Saudi Arabia, streaming while gaming on Twitch into the early hours.

That didn’t have any effect on his performance, far from it, as he stormed to another victory on Saturday – but he revealed a part of his thinking was that he was simply making use of his free time while trying to maintain his body clock on a European schedule, with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix being a night race.

Max Verstappen discusses ‘unwinding’ with late-night online gaming

The three-time World Champion looked in imperious form once again in Saudi Arabia, taking his ninth race victory in a row as he took top spot on Saturday.

Verstappen has long been known to enjoy online gaming, owning his own sim racing team and taking part in online races when he can away from Formula 1, and he has been busy online streaming this week in the build-up to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Rather than a sign of not being able to sleep, the Red Bull driver explained he was wanting to combat the time difference he faced in Saudi Arabia ahead of Saturday’s night race.

When asked about his late-night Twitch streaming schedule this week in the post-race press conference in Jeddah, Verstappen explained: “Yeah, I mean, I just stayed a bit on European, or even UK, I would say, schedule. So I would go to bed at like 4am, wake up late…”

At which point, team-mate Sergio Perez chimed in with: “We’ll have to get you a membership on Disney+!”

“Yeah, I’m paying for that at the moment, actually,” Verstappen replied.

“The thing is, of course, also, I have my own sim team, so naturally I’m just catching up with them a bit and, yeah, it’s a bit of just unwinding as well.

“I mean, I don’t have a rig here. I’m driving on my controller, you know, so it’s just fun, just not having to think about Formula 1 and just be with people that, you know, are friends.

“Whenever I can, I do it. I woke up this morning and had an hour spare, so I just logged in and had a bit of fun.”

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While his margin of victory was not quite as wide as it was in Bahrain last weekend, Verstappen said his Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a strong one from his point of view.

He heads into the Australian Grand Prix in a fortnight with the opportunity to level his own record, set last season, of 10 race victories in a row, and he revealed the RB20 performed beyond his own expectations in Jeddah.

“I think it was a very good race,” he said. “Of course, after that first stint with the Safety Car, we had to box and I knew that it was going to be a very long stint to the end.

“But of course, it was the same for most of us, and I think we just managed the pace very well to the end.

“I think the whole weekend, the car has been performing really well, probably a little bit better than expected even. Overall, of course, very pleased to win here.”

When asked if it was a better win for himself compared to last weekend’s victory in Bahrain, he replied: “The race in Bahrain, I think, was also very good, so it’s a bit difficult.

“You know, it’s very different scenarios as well. So I mean, around here, you naturally have low tyre deg, so you probably also ask different things from the car.”

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