Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen has installed a racing simulator on his private jet, according to Red Bull racing advisor Dr Helmut Marko.
It is no secret that the Dutch driver is a massive fan of sim racing, regularly competing for eSports team Team Redline and boasting a setup reported to be worth somewhere between US$15,000 to $35,000 (~ AU$21,800 – $49,200).
But evidently, this is no longer enough for the two-time World Champion, who has installed his lush racing rig on his Dassault Falcon-900EX private jet.
The sports star bought the plane from billionaire Richard Branson in 2020, for a reported US$16 million (AU$22.5 million). According to Front Office Sports, alongside Verstappen’s gaming set-up, the plane can hold between 12-16 passengers, contains a bed and luxury shower and is equipped with a fully-stocked bar.
‘Max needs this distraction’
There was some speculation as to whether Max Verstappen was done with sim racing after he hit out at a recent competition.
Competing for Team Redline at the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours series, he was winning the event before being disconnected, prompting him to retire from the race altogether.
He reacted to the event, calling it a “clown show.”
“This is just incompetence,” he said.
This prompted some fans to believe that Verstappen was done with eSports and virtual racing altogether.
However, when questioned by Sport1, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko – who has a close relationship with Verstappen – believes that it has not hindered the 25-year-old from competing virtually in the future.
“The opposite is the case,” Marko revealed, “He even had his private plane converted so that he can fly a simulator in the air in the future.”
“But that’s a good thing too, because Max needs this distraction. In any case, it didn’t do him any harm when it came to his two titles.”Dr Helmut Marko
With his new gaming rig installed on the plane, Verstappen will have more time than ever to practice his racing as he flies from Grand Prix to Grand Prix.
This may be the secret weapon he needs to help him achieve his goal of a third Driver’s Championship title in 2023.