How Verstappen's sim rig brake set-up helped prepare him for F1 return

Max Verstappen has revealed how the brake pedal setting of his home sim rig gave him the confidence that he was fit enough to return at Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

How Verstappen's sim rig brake set-up helped prepare him for F1 return

The Dutchman spent time after the British GP recovering from the battering he took from his 51G impact with the barriers after the opening-lap crash with Lewis Hamilton.

While feeling in much better shape a few days after the accident, Verstappen still could not be sure how he would shape up when thrust back into the demands of an F1 cockpit.

But he says his mind was put at ease when he took part in the iRacing 24 Hours of Spa with Jeff Giassi and Gianni Vecchio last weekend.

Having completed around eight hours of running in total, he finished fifth in a Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by sim squad Team Redline.

What gave him a particular boost was that he opts to run a super stiff brake setting – similar to the feel of his F1 car – on his home rig, so he could be sure that after running for a long time at home he would not face issues at the Hungaroring.

“It felt pretty good, actually,” Verstappen told Dutch channel Ziggo Sport. “Some people think that a sim race can’t be compared with the real thing, but I have set my brake pedal pretty hard at home.

“It meant I could already practice how my knee would hold up, and my ankle. So when I got into the car here in Hungary, I didn't have to use much more force than at home. Everything just felt OK. And my neck is doing well as well, so that's great.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

While suffering no problems himself during the first day of action in Hungary, Verstappen said he was left chasing a better balance for much of the day.

"It was not bad, but we still need to improve a little,” he said. “FP1 wasn't too bad, but already then I had issues with the balance, I just wanted a slightly different balance. And we didn't really manage to improve this in FP2. So we still need to have a look at that."

But the best bit of news for Verstappen was that the crashed power unit that had been rescued from Silverstone had run without problems.

"Yes, that all went well,” he said. “When I got out at Silverstone and looked at the car, it didn't look so positive. But miraculously the engine survived. That's very good of course."

shares
comments

Related video

The story behind F1's most iconic refuelling picture
Previous article

The story behind F1's most iconic refuelling picture

Next article

F1 Hungarian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

F1 Hungarian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022