Verstappen shuts down ‘absurd’ claim made about him by Red Bull chief

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Max Verstappen has branded the idea that he has installed an F1 simulator on his £10m private jet “absurd”, following comments from Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

In an interview with German broadcaster Sport1, Marko stated: “He even had his private plane converted so that he can fly a simulator in the air in the future. But that’s a good thing, too, because Max needs this distraction.”

However, Verstappen has branded the idea “absurd” and says Marko simply “misunderstood” him, with the two-time F1 world champion instead planning to install a simulator in the new motorhome he will use as his base during this season’s European Grand Prix.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of Red Bull’s new car in New York, Verstappen explained: “I said I will install one there because I just can keep on driving when I’m back in the evening because I like it.

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“It’s my hobby in a way. It just keeps you sharp as well. I think he [Marko] misunderstood and he said plane. So no, I’m not installing one in my plane. I think that would be a bit absurd.”

Verstappen is also feeling confident about defending his F1 world title this year, but admitted he expects the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren to provide much stiffer competition. 

“He [Lewis Hamilton] has been one of the greatest drivers ever in the sport, so for sure if he has the car to do it, he can fight for the title again,” Verstappen told Sky Sports. “But that’s the same for George [Russell], it’s the same for Charles [Leclerc], it’s the same for Lando [Norris].

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“If you give them the car that’s capable of winning the championship, they can. But it’s also about when you have the car then the pressure comes you cannot afford big mistakes.

“That’s a bit of a different pressure you have but I’m confident once these guys get onto a roll like that it is all possible, they all have talent to do so.”

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