Verstappen: Simracing experience is useful for F1

2019 F1 season

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Max Verstappen says simracing is not just for fun and also provides valuable practice and experience for his Formula 1 career.

The Red Bull driver also races for simracing team Redline with McLaren F1 rival Lando Norris.

Verstappen, who usually races on tracks which aren’t on the F1 calendar, said the main value of simracing is it allows him to practice setting up a car.

“You’re basically just doing the same thing,” he said. “You’re always trying to extract the best out if it, you are trying to get the best lap in, you are trying to work on the set-up, how to go faster. You look at onboards, you look at data to again extract more out of it. So basically just doing the same thing without G-forces.

“It’s always trying to just get the best out of it so when I get back [to the track] I’m doing the same because you’re looking at data, onboards, you’re always trying to find things in the set-up to go even faster. [In the] virtual world the set-up is the set-up so you can still do the same kind of thing that you are doing on a [real] car. So you learn from it as well as a driver.”

However he wouldn’t be drawn on whether he or Norris was the quicker driver online. “It depends,” said Verstappen. “He practices a lot, I practice a lot.

“What is the most important is we are driving together, normally it’s in the same team, is that we’re just having fun. But I think pure lap time-wise, as an F1 driver, I think we are all very closely matched.”

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Max Verstappen and Lando Norris simracing

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “Verstappen: Simracing experience is useful for F1”

    1. Ricciardo said it before; Verstappen is a racing nerd

      1. Big surprise.

    2. Quite a few of us in the past have accused Max of driving as though he is playing a game rather than racing for real ;)
      I am delighted to say that in my opinion this season he has changed and is now driving a far more controlled and mature race …. it may not be as entertaining as his previous style but this is how he will win WDC.
      Now he just needs a car that can do the job and I’m convinced he can do it.

    3. Why don’t ‘professional’ simracers use regular screens rather than VR-goggles such as Oculus Rift? Does anyone know? Is the technology not advanced enough?

      1. I meant ‘why do’ rather than ‘why don’t’. So Why do ‘professional’ simracers use regular screens rather than VR-goggles?

        1. You can’t use VR headsets with just any game. A game has to have been designed or altered in order for VR to work.

          1. @nullapax But iRacing does and Max competes in iRacing.

            1. But iRacing does and Max competes in iRacing.

              Ahh I didn’t know that. ;)

            2. steelfingas
              8th May 2019, 16:42

              I think it’s probably because the resolution isn’t quite there with the Rift to enable these guys to look as far ahead throuhg corners etc. as they need to. Although it’s not quite as immersive using triple monitors, the detail is way superior….for now at least.

      2. VR offers great immersion, but if you just want to compete, its way more convenient to use an ordinary screen setup.
        And its quite obvious that Max is rather looking for competition instead of immersion. I mean he does not even use a right FOV.

        1. @d0senbrot Thanks, but why is it ‘better’ to use an ordinary setup with screens if you want compete? Does VR hampers you in competition?

          1. Also Max knows the real experience and then VR isn’t that great. Max really like to race!

      3. Probably because VR is uncomfortable for long durations.

        1. @krommenaas The reason I ask is that I find regular screens uncomfortable for my eyes after a while. Unlike real racing you focus your eyes on a screen a metre (or two) in front of you. Really tiring and unhealthy I think. VR might be a solution there because you see ‘through’ the goggles. Just a guess, I haven’t tested it.

          1. They generally recommend giving your eyes a regular rest when using VR, so it can’t be better on the eyes. And the heavy headset isn’t fun to wear either. Thirdly if you have to press any buttons on your steering wheel you’d have to do it blind. I tried watching a show in the virtual theatre on my Gear VR once, but just reaching for a drink became cumbersome.

          2. What i gather is that the reason they have this setup is for several reasons.

            For one VR headsets give a lot worse pixeldepth / detail. Then some people have the motion sickness with them (although some drivers had that even with the team simulators). Also the hardware requirements are still higher than for a “classic” 3 monitor setup. And off course with 3 monitors you can play a far wider selection of games compared to a VR set.

            The 3 monitor setup is also more familiar to what most teams have in their professional simulator, so I can imagine that is a factor as well for guys who also drive professionally.

            It seems there is no clear favourite with current Sim racers. Some use VR and love it, some never tried, some even went back to monitors. And many use a mix (depending on what simulator or game they use). Could also be that they use this because it is “standard” – they are probably too busy to loose too much time thinking about things, even if money is not an objection for them.

      4. greasemonkey
        7th May 2019, 14:17

        Several reasons (in order ish):
        * Resolution
        * Being able to accurately press buttons and/or keys
        * Weight
        * Color saturation

      5. @matthijs they probably have both (money is no object here), it just when they allow a photo to go public they do it without the goggles so you can actually see its them.

        Also his screens should be a lot close to him.

      6. Its not advanced enough.

      7. I think is just what he likes, I race in iRacing with VR and there are some disadvantages, for one the resolution suffers a bit with VR, also you are limited if you want to use the keyboard as you cant see it and some “In race” changes require the use of the keyboard. Now, the level of game immersion you get with VR is a definite advantage, I was able to lap faster because of it. But again at the end it is just preference.

    4. It pleases me to see that Max is someone with so much cash, and with such a high profile in sport, but still has IKEA furniture like the rest of us.

      1. Well it’s always a challenge to find the ideal line through an IKEA.

      2. With Max’s temper he might have to replace furnishings on a (very) regular basis? ;)

      3. I doubt he has bought any of it. More likely the apartment came like that.

    5. That’s a serious steering wheel that Max is using.
      Looks like its hydraulic based !!!

      1. It is electric servo motor. The cables are just thick. Max probably has one of the more expensive motors which is about 3000£ just for the motor and electronics (google simsteering). In addition he has wheel, pedals and pc plus the rig which all probably put the monetary value of what you see to something like 7000£ or more.

        1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          9th May 2019, 11:42

          Extra points for the Red Bull toy car on top of the brown cabinet. :D

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