Max Verstappen was able to do his first laps in a Formula 1 car with the number 1 affixed to his muzzle. The Dutchman joked that he hopes his usual racing number of 33 doesn’t return anytime soon.
Verstappen chose to race with the number 1 in 2022 and so this number first appeared with him on an F1 while taking part in a promotional demonstration for Red Bull during the 2022 GP Ice Race at Zell am See in Austria .
Driving a 2012 Red Bull RB8 modified with studded and narrow tires, Verstappen had a lot of fun sliding on ice and snow.
« I didn’t even realize it was the 1 on the car! » comments Verstappen.
« But I’m happy, we are optimizing his presence (laughs). How many times do you have the possibility to use him? Number 1 is the best number, so for me it was very simple to choose number 1. J sure hope number 33 doesn’t come back next year! »
Regarding the driving of an F1 car in these conditions, he admits that « It was my first time driving a Formula 1 on ice, so I was really looking forward to trying it. We were able to do it on snow a few years ago. »
« The ice was very interesting and very…slippery, so you had to be very careful! Also, everything is very cold, including the brakes, and obviously racing cars like this don’t have were designed to ride on ice, which made it even more difficult. But I really enjoyed doing it! »
Verstappen has had a fairly quiet winter season, spending time at home, on his simulator and on vacation with his girlfriend Kelly Piquet.
« I spent most of the time away from the competition. Having a good time with family and friends and just being at home, that was the plan. But already at this stage, it’s about prepare again for the new season, physically. »
« So far what I’ve basically been doing is being at home a lot and training twice a day, whether it’s at home or running outside and in between that going from time with the family or being on my simulator. »
Has he already been able to see his future Red Bull RB18?
« The RB18 looks a bit different, but in the end it’s still a Formula 1 car. Hopefully during the test days we can do a lot of laps and collect a lot of data on the car. , which is important. I can’t wait. »