Max Verstappen ditches his Red Bull to test drive Ferrari

Max Verstappen has been spotted driving a Ferrari as he prepares for the 2024 Formula One season. The Dutchman breezed to a third consecutive World Championship with Red Bull in 2023, but has now been seen testing a Ferrari as he plots his own GT3 team.

Verstappen sponsored the Ferrari 293 GT this year, working with father Jos and driver Thierry Vermuelen. And in a rare image of him driving a motorsport vehicle that is not a single-seater, the 26-year-old was given the opportunity to test the car.

A private test in Portimao, Portugal, has given Verstappen the opportunity to try out the Ferrari vehicle.

“At the moment it is an initial phase, with Racing we sponsor and support the competitive activities of several people close to me through consultancy and advice,” Verstappen explains on his website.

“It all started with the simulated races of Team Redline. Many still think that simulation racing is unprofessional, but it is a serious sport and I invest many hours in it, to prepare and beat everyone else.”

“For now we are also involved with Thierry Vermeulen in the DTM and the GTWC Europe Sprint, and with my father in rally races, but the goal is to create our own racing team. We will start with the GT3 class and see how it goes.”

Verstappen enjoyed a remarkably successful season in F1. A record-smashing campaign saw him beat the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Perez to the world title.

In a clear message to his underperforming rivals, Verstappen says he expects more competition in 2024. Red Bull have excelled since new aerodynamic regulations were introduced at the start of 2022, leaving the rest of the grid struggling to keep up.

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“Running the same season will be almost impossible,” Verstappen said earlier in December. “Of course, we will try to develop our car further, but the other teams have learned a lot from us. I hope there won’t be more competition, but I expect there to be.

“Every weekend it was a different team that showed itself just as well. McLaren, for example, seemed to have it all sorted out for a while, but then had a dip again. They seem to know which way to go and there are good people working there.”

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