Jun.16 (GMM) Max Verstappen has been banned from joining fellow Red Bull world champion Sebastian Vettel in enjoying rare high-speed laps of Nurburgring’s fabled Nordschleife layout in September.
The newly-retired Vettel’s laps will be in his title-winning 2011 Formula 1 car – and the decade-younger Verstappen, the world championship leader, signalled his interest in joining the German.
“I would have liked that,” the back-to-back world champion said in Montreal, “but Helmut doesn’t allow it.
“He knows very well that I would have pushed the limit,” the Dutchman added. “So he nipped that in the bud.
“We also use special demo tyres for things like this and if I really wanted to push, I would have needed real racing tyres. But that’s not allowed in the regulations,” Verstappen added.
Some, however, believe that the 25-year-old’s stock is so high at Red Bull that he could have insisted on taking part.
“I didn’t want to cause a problem unnecessarily,” Verstappen insisted. “When I heard about the event, Helmut was sitting at the table.
“He said straight away that I wasn’t allowed to be there.”
Obviously, driving a F1 car at the epic Nordschleife, where Niki Lauda sustained his infamous burns in 1976, is a huge risk.
“There’s risk everywhere, including here in Montreal,” Verstappen said.
“Maybe it will work out at some point later,” he added, suggesting that his eventual top-speed Nordschleife laps could also be at the wheel of a GT3 car.
Meanwhile, teammate Sergio Perez kicked off his Montreal weekend denying boss Christian Horner’s claim that his now 53-point deficit to Verstappen eases the pressure off his shoulders.
“I don’t think so,” said the Mexican. “I think we always have to make sure that we deliver.”
When asked what advice he would give Perez to get back on top form, Verstappen said: “I think it’s difficult for me to comment on the situation, because I don’t know what’s going on in his head.
“But when I was younger, I learned that in any situation it is better to focus on yourself and try to do your best, and not pay attention to things that are out of your control.
“In a season, there are always a few races that don’t go to plan, but it makes no sense to think about what you cannot influence. That’s my approach,” he added.