Professional athletes train all the time, day in and day out and during any gaps in between. It’s the same for Formula 1 drivers - constantly doing exercises to improve reactions as well as stamina. When you’re pushing an F1 car down the main straight a good deal above 300 km/h and a dog/baby/bird/spoiler/wheel enters the equation you need to be able to react in lightning-quick time to avoid an accident and a possible loss of the car, or life. We often see drivers doing reflex exercises in the pits or in their trailers on one of those Flash Reflex Training machines before races or during the test and qualifying sessions. Sometimes they let fans try the machine too, which we think is only to show off how fast the F1 drivers actually are. While nothing beats real world practice, doing virtual laps on a proper racing simulator can help with the mental preparation and as a blueprint for the track layout and braking points.
For this test session ahead of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 24th July this coming weekend, Super Max took some time to practise laps on Circuit Paul Ricard in an amazing simulator rig that would provide valuable feedback to his team from the clever data-analysing and app-creator company Citrix. While this is technically a game, it is as close to real life as the creators can get it. When the right screens are used, the right amount of feedback comes from the controls and the right audio is set up, the virtual world can very closely mirror real world conditions. So back in 2019 on the real 5.842 km track, fellow competitor Sebastien Vettel set the lap record at 1:32.740.
Just watch Max while he’s busy doing the simulation. I don’t think I could concentrate that hard if my life depended on it, but it looks like second nature to Mr. Verstappen. The man is so in tune with the screens and the game to get the best out of his digital car that he doesn’t blink, like at all. We did watch it twice and yet it may be possible as well as very unlikely that we blinked at the exact same time Max did so we missed it. Do you think these F1 drivers are all the same and don’t blink for laps at a time? Enough of that… all this concentration and skill resulted in Max Verstappen posting a virtual lap time of 1:30.641, which is quicker than the real lap record by a decent margin. It will be amazing if we see Super Max match or beat his virtual lap during the race this weekend - although that may be more of a feather in the cap of the game and simulator’s creators than the driver’s, but it will be amazing nonetheless.
Have you played the game? Do you have a legit simulator? Tell us your specs, tell us your best times and share some pics.
Take a look at the short YouTube video that shows F1 favourite and Oracle Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen getting a virtual advantage over the other drivers with a little realistic virtual practice: @Citrix Virtual Lap | Max Verstappen at the French Grand Prix | Oracle Red Bull Racing
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