F1 News: Max Verstappen Confronts Sim Racing Questions - '7 Hours Sleep'

 Max Verstappen effectively manages dual racing commitments, maintaining professional performance in both F1 and sim racing.
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (1) after qualifying
May 4, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (1) after qualifying / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, Max Verstappen has faced several questions over his dual commitments to Formula 1 and iRacing, especially concerning the amount of sleep he's getting as he fights it out for Team Redline as well as Red Bull. The Dutch driver defended his ability to manage both, highlighting that he maintained a sufficient sleep schedule around his racing schedule.

The reigning champion finds himself at the intersection of virtual and real-world racing. This past weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, where Verstappen unsurprisingly secured pole position, questions arose not just about his on-track performance but also his involvement in the iRacing version of the Nurburgring 24 Hours with Team Redline.

His love for sim racing is well-known within the motorsports community, but this weekend, however, his schedule was particularly challenging. He balanced the final phases of the F1 race preparation with participating in an endurance sim race. Despite the packed schedule, Verstappen was clear about the professional approach he brings to both arenas

"It's a 24-hour race and I think there are four of us on the car. But of course, I don't have a lot of time, Saturday night and Sunday morning," Verstappen stated. But how much sleep was he able to get? "Seven hours," he smiled. "I would prefer to sleep more, but on a race weekend, seven hours is absolutely fine."

Critics often question the impact of such things on a driver's performance in real Grand Prix races. Verstappen responded to these concerns with a dismissive confidence, born of years navigating the high pressures of F1 racing. "[If something goes wrong on Sunday] they'll say so. It doesn't matter to me anyway. Look, as I just said, I think I'm professional enough that I know what can and can't be done," he said.

The question of rest and readiness also came up alongside the Imola race: "You do have to go to bed on time and get your hours of sleep, of course, to start the Sunday well rested."

As Verstappen straddles the worlds of F1 and sim racing, his approach remains unwavering—professional, calculated, and focused on delivering top performances, irrespective of the arena. His dual commitments showcase not only his passion for racing in all its forms but also a remarkable ability to juggle high-level competition.

Talking about how his sim-racing stints went between his Red Bull commitments, he was happy with his work online. "The stints were good, it's still an hour and 45 minutes to go. We are still leading. My teammates are still driving. I try to follow it as best as I can. But it's a lot of fun. We are in Europe and when I can, I try to race. I can bring my own sim."

Max will start P1 on the grid today after leaving his sim-racing team also in first place with a 30-second gap ahead of the rest of the pack. Very, very impressive stuff from the Red Bull driver this weekend.

Alex Harrington


Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.