Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Mugello, 2020

Verstappen did test day at Mugello in GT car to learn track

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Max Verstappen revealed he used a GT car to practice most of the new tracks which have been added to the 2020 F1 calendar, including Mugello, where he will race this weekend.

“I’ve been here a few weeks ago to drive because I had never been here before,” said Verstappen in today’s press conference at the circuit. “I think that is the best way to learn a track.

“You can drive it on the simulator but I haven’t done that. So you get a bit of a read. Of course the car is a bit slower but it’s still fine.

“That was important, it just gives you a little bit of a head start. I know that other drivers have been racing here but I had a full day of driving so I don’t think it will be that bad.”

Verstappen predicted the circuit will be “very fast” in an F1 car. “I like that,” he added.

The Red Bull driver spent two days testing at Portugal’s Autodromo do Algarve in January, before it was added to this year’s schedule. Verstappen indicated he has also driven at Imola and Nurburgring, which will hold races later this year.

“I’ve driven all the other tracks except Istanbul,” he said. “It’s not necessary to do it [and] most of the tracks are fully booked or they are very busy which is quite normal.”

Lando Norris raced at the circuit in the Italian Formula 4 championship five years ago, but he doesn’t believe that experience will prove useful.

“I don’t think there’s any advantage,” he said. “It was too long ago for me now, in a completely different car.

“The track’s even changed slightly since then. I don’t even remember the track being cambered in so many of the corners. I think some of the bumps have gone from what they used to be. So I don’t think there’s any advantage for anyone, maybe within the last year or two years, possibly, but anything before, probably not.

“At the same time I think simulators are very good but it was very late notice for us to know that we’re going to Mugello. So maybe not everything was as perfect and as up to date as all the tracks that we normally go to. But you have a good enough understanding driving a Formula 1 car in a simulator of what you need to achieve, coming to a track like Mugello.”

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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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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25 comments on “Verstappen did test day at Mugello in GT car to learn track”

  1. I wonder when was this? Between the Spanish and Belgian GPs, or between the Hungarian GP and Silverstone 1?

    1. Did he necessarily have to drive it on a weekend?

      1. It’s much more convenient on weekends and he can take rest between the said trips.

        1. It’s much more convenient on weekends

          Why? Convenient for whom?
          If anything usefulness (rather than convenience) depends more on the weather than on the day of the week.

          1. For the drviers as they get good rest in between days of travel(though this year there isnt much travelling with multiple races at same venue or within same country).

  2. This is what I’d expect from a future World Driver’s Champion.

    1. WDCs have been predicted for many drivers who never achieved it. Max definitely has talent but the ability to withstand the pressure of fighting for a WDC, he’s never experienced that. Maybe he’ll conquer his temper tantrums. We’ll have to see.

      1. @greenflag I think Max was born to handle the pressure of fighting for a WDC. As to his ‘temper tantrums’…yeah that’s old news. The main ingredient for a WDC is the WCC car, and once he has that all bets are off.

        1. Nobody is born to anything, other than inherited wealth. Max is going to have to earn it like any other driver. We’ll see how he does when he does it. If he inherited his father’s temperament it could be a long wait.

    2. @drycrust so, by that logic, given that Lance Stroll paid to carry out tests in old Formula 1 cars before entering Formula 1 to get used to the cars and the tracks, are you suggesting Lance Stroll is a future World Driver’s Champion?

      1. @anon What a strange comment. He said this is what he expects from a future world champion, not that he expects someone who tests a lot will become a world champion.

        1. It was a joke intended to mock the hyperbolic praise or criticism that is so often thrown at drivers for any action, particularly when it involves a driver either being hailed as a future champion or one who already has a title.

          Would anyone bother heaping such praise onto a midfield driver if they had done the same thing? Would this site even bother writing an article if, say, Grosjean had been doing the same thing? Is it only worth reporting when it involves a driver at the front of the grid?

          1. @anon Yes, I understand your intention was to mock OP. But your reductio ad absurdum doesn’t actually reduce his logic. It would have made more sense if OP had said something like, “This kind of dedication will surely make him a champion.”

  3. Anyone can rent a Ferrari or something and have a go at certain tracks, so kudos to Verstappen for doing it himself. Some might not feel they need it, but better do it and not need it than need it and not do it.

    1. @fer-no65 I kinda like that he’s put in the effort to get “a little bit of a head start” on learning the Mugello track. There’s limited time on a race weekend to get fully acclimatised to the track, even if there are no car issues.

  4. GT car as in a Porsche 911 or like an FIA GT3 car? Not sure it makes much difference as far as being close to an F1 car in performance but I just find it remarkable he would get his hands on a proper race car just to scout tracks. I guess it’s only money at issue.

    1. It is likely that he had a street legal GT road car. AFAIK he used a Porsche at the Hungaroring.

    2. Yeah. Spare a time to test the track was already good move. Doing it in a proper race car was better.

    3. He has in his collection:
      Renault R.S.01
      Aston Martin Vantage
      Aston Martin DBS Superleggera
      Porsche 911 GT3 RS
      Ferrari Monza SP2
      Ferrari 488 Pista
      Aston Martin Valkyrie

      I think he can have a good drive on a track with this cars.

  5. there is an F3 experience package for Mugello
    ah, my dream vacation. wife likes italy, does she like me 2k euro spent on crossing the item from my bucket list?

  6. For what it’s worth, only 8 of the 20 drivers on the current grid has racing experience in Mugello: Leclerc, Albon, Gasly, Kvyat, Russell (in the now-defunct Formula Renault 2.0 Alps), Norris, Stroll (in Italian F4) and Latifi (in Italian F3…which, jeez, was a good while back. I forgot that series existed).

  7. Verstappen is just that more committed, hungry than much of the grid.

  8. That’s a wonderfully hungry driver out there. Every opportunity to make himself better.
    Good indeed.

    Just wish he’s more respectful towards other Drivers and the Orange annoying army will shut it.

    1. Very out of order your Orange Army remark.
      His National fans & following are tremendous.
      OK for the Ferrari Tifosi to be so demonstrative & numerous then?
      BTW Max is & has always been respectful to all his fellow F1 drivers.
      Yes he’s had his temper tantrums & thrown his toys out of the pram!
      But those sparks of anger never resulted in him being disrespectful.

      1. @Andy, so you call pushing Ocon in the pits respectful?

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