Max Verstappen in shock unfamiliar territory as 2024 racing campaign begins

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 paddock.

Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 paddock.

Max Verstappen found himself in an unknown realm as the Real Racers Never Quit virtual racing championship got underway, as he was forced to settle for a spot in the midfield.

Formula 1’s return to action is looming, as Verstappen prepares to go on the hunt for a fourth World Championship in a row in what is set to be a campaign contested over a record-breaking 24 rounds.

Verstappen’s preparations are already underway, having schooled the ‘in-laws’ over Christmas on the karting track in Brazil, and now he has been competing in the virtual racing world as part of the opening round of the ‘Real Racers Never Quit’ series.

Max Verstappen forced to settle for P8 finish

Representing his website, the first race was contested in GT3 machinery around the iconic Daytona International Speedway.

Qualifying P10, Verstappen was joined in the field by a host of fellow racing drivers, including Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich, Formula E champion António Félix da Costa, former Red Bull junior Dennis Hauger and reigning Formula 3 Champion Gabriel Bortoleto.

It was Luke Bennett though, representing the sim racing stars, who claimed pole position and the ‘driver of the day’ tag from the viewers, though fellow Team Redline sim racer Chris Lulham took the win.

Verstappen meanwhile, who improved to P5 at the start, was soon sent into a spin as he tumbled down and out of the top 10, ultimately recovering to P8 at the finish. recommends

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Verstappen told his website that the slipstream effect was making it difficult for him to progress back up the order after that setback, similar to the situation which Formula 1 drivers can find themselves in during a grands prix as part of a ‘DRS train’.

“With the slipstream that you have on the Daytona circuit, it’s very hard to work your way forward,” he said.

“But it was a nice race, I enjoyed it. The slipstream at this circuit also makes it very fun to race on.”

Verstappen will soon return to Formula 1 duties, pre-season testing taking place in Bahrain between February 21-23, before the F1 2024 season-opener takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit on the following weekend.

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