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Verstappen was not allowed to join Red Bull Nordschleife F1 run

Max Verstappen has revealed how Red Bull told him he was not allowed to join the team's Nurburgring Nordschleife Formula 1 demo run later this year.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

Red Bull announced this week that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has signed up to run alongside Daniel Ricciardo at a special event at the famous track in September.

Vettel is due to run the 2011 RB7 car that he took to that year's world championship, while Ricciardo will run in an RB8 from the following season. It will be the first time in a decade that F1 machinery has run at the venue.

Speaking ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Verstappen said that the idea of him joining the event was briefly discussed with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko but was quickly ruled out.

"I wanted to do it, but I was not allowed by Helmut," explained Verstappen.

"He knew that I would try and go to the limits. I would have loved to do it."

While Verstappen probably has enough sway within Red Bull to have persuaded his bosses to change their minds, he said that he did not see much point in taking things further.

"I didn't want to start unnecessary issues," he said. "I heard this thing was coming up, and Helmut was sitting at the table when it came up, and he said: 'No, no, no, you're not doing that!'"

While the demo runs for Vettel and Ricciardo are purely for show, Verstappen has admitted that the temptation would have been there at the run to try to go for a lap record attempt.

The current record around the Nordschleife is held by Timo Bernhard, who lapped in 5m19.55 seconds in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo in 2018 to beat Stefan Bellof's previous best from the 1983 1000km sportscar race.

Bernhard is the record-holder on the Nordschleife with a 5m19.55s lap from 2018

Bernhard is the record-holder on the Nordschleife with a 5m19.55s lap from 2018

Photo by: Porsche

"I would have definitely given it a go," smiled Verstappen.

"But you need not the demo tyres [that teams have to run with] and some proper tyres, which is not allowed."

Verstappen also reckons that the dangers of running at the Nordschleife in an old car are not dramatically different from some of the venues that F1 runs on.

"It's also risky to drive here," he said.

"It just depends on how you hit a barrier. But that's normally not the plan, of course. But hopefully one day I can do it."

Asked in which car he would like to do a run, he said: "Ideally, that would have been amazing in an F1 car. But if it's not allowed in an F1 car, then maybe one day in a GT3 car."

 

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