13 of Max Verstappen’s best, worst and most controversial sim-racing moments

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Verstappen Sim Racing

Rob Smalley / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen is not only 3-time Formula 1 World Champion, he’s also one of the fastest sim racing drivers in the world.

Here’s a look at some of his biggest, best, worst and most controversial moments from the virtual motorsport world.

Team Redline

Max Verstappen races in the virtual world for Team Redline,  the most formidable force in the online racing world. Redline is made up of the quickest sim racing drivers from across the planet.

Most of Verstappen’s sim racing is done on iRacing. This has some of the most realistic physics and the highest number of online players, plus some of the most competitive leagues, championships and events that can be competed in.

Some of these include the virtual Le Mans 24 hours, Nurburgring 24 hours, Indy 500 and more.

Here’s a look at some of his biggest and best moments.

Nurburgring double overtake

Whilst racing in a Mercedes AMG GT3 car at the Nurburgring, Max enters the famous Dottinger Hohe straight, which is 1.3 miles / 2.1km long, behind two other drivers. The cars are all flat-out and the slipstream has a big effect here.

Max tucks in behind the car ahead, who in turn is slipstreaming the car ahead of him. Max benefits from the double slipstream effect and manages to squeeze past both cars at the same time in a nice double overtake.

Le Mans 2023 disconnect rage

At the start of 2023 Verstappen competed in the virtual Le Mans 24 hours with Team Redline. Unfortunately the event was beset with problems and Max was disconnected from the game 3 times.

The third time it happened his team was leading with a quarter of the race still to run. That disconnect cost them a lap and a half, which was enough for them to lose the lead of the race.

Max was not happy. He left off some steam at the event organisers, saying:

Honestly it’s a joke, you cannot call this an event. It’s a clown show. I think I have more chance if I go to Vegas and I’m just gonna go to the casino. I’ll have more chance to win.”

Le Mans 2022 crash

Max hasn’t had much luck with the virtual Le Mans 24h. A year earlier he crashed heavily, hit the barriers and that put his team out of the race.

P17 to P1

Max starts a race in Toyota GR86s at Monza in 17th place. He has an incredible start and by the end of lap 1 he’s up to P2. 

From then on, he and his Redline teammates have a hard fought 5-car battle right up to the final corner where Max makes a super smart move to take the win.

Incredible Bathurst pole lap in the dark

Bathurst is known for being one of the most unforgiving circuits in the world. Up over the mountain there is zero run-off as the track is lined with concrete barriers.

Max drove an Audi R8 GT3 car in qualifying there in the dark, and put in one of the cleanest and most sensational laps ever. He used every possible millimetre of the circuit and was over 0.4 seconds faster than the 2nd place car.

Daytona 2000IQ move

In single-seaters at Daytona the slipstream effect is huge. The following car always has an advantage when they come on to the banking on the final lap, as they’ll almost always be able to slipstream their way in to the lead.

In this video we are watching from the point of view of the person chasing Max. You can see he lifts off the throttle as they approach the final chicane which leads on to the last part of the banking, so he can be sure that he’s behind Max when it counts.

But Max is wise to his plan. His last minute dive to the left and early brake, before the chicane, surprises the other driver enough for Max to get away.

Rammer's revenge

When racing at Spa, Max gets hit by Sven Haase on the way in to the tight La Source hairpin. That has the knock-on effect of Max taking out one of his Redline teammates.

Max is not best pleased by this. So he plots his revenge. He cuts the Les Combes chicane at the end of the Kemmel straight to get right back behind Haase, then rams him off the track on the way in to Rivage.

Grassy pass at the Nurburgring

The Nurburgring Nordschleife is a narrow circuit at the best of times. Max is trying to overtake the AMG GT3 ahead of him and tries to do so whilst keeping the throttle pinned and using the grass, but he runs out of road.

Eventually he makes his move stick at the next corner.

Max dodges the divebombs

In a friendly MX5 race with his teammates, Max is leading on the final lap. His teammates are plotting to try and take him out before he makes it to the chequered flag, but Max is ready for them.

Norris takes out Verstappen

Lando Norris is also big (and very fast) in the Sim Racing world. The two of them were competing against each other at Daytona, with Norris following close behind Max.

Lando decides to go for a bit of bumpdrafting, but despite the lightest of touches, accidentally sends Max flying off the track. Norris’ reaction is priceless.

Massive save at the Nurburgring

Max was racing in the virtual Nurburgring 24 hours. Exiting the infamous Foxhole corner, he took a little bit too much kerb over the crest on the left hand side at over 250kph. 

That massively unsettled his car and he had to save it from spinning or hitting the barriers, which took the best part of 10 seconds.

Huge crash avoidance

At the start of an LMP race there’s a HUGE pileup ahead of Max. Cars are barrel rolling and heading across the track in every direction.

Somehow Max’s quick reactions keep him out of trouble. But I don’t know how!

Penelope makes an appearance

Penelope is the daughter of Max’s girlfriend Kelly Piquet, and she often makes an appear when Max is racing online. Sometimes she bothers him right when it matters…

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport guides based on my own experience as a racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who want to learn more about racing.

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Join the oversteer48 F1 Insider's club

I’ll send you a weekly email with insider info on the latest F1 news and results. 
Read by over 5,000 busy F1 fans each week.