Verstappen Explains Playing Games Online Until 4 AM Night Before Saudi Arabian GP

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 at 19:30
Updated at Tuesday, 12 March 2024 at 20:12
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Max Verstappen explained why he was still playing online games at 4 am the night before the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Dutch driver is currently in a world of his own in Formula One. He's won the last nine races and 19 of the last 20 Grands Prix.
Such dominance hasn't been seen in years, and because of his incredible on-track dominance, Verstappen is often the target of many funny jokes, often known as memes, off the race track.
With his currently unmatched driving qualities, many fans are joking that the Dutchman is completing "side quests" along his Formula One career, as he often participates in different online races.
He's not only participating, as he often wins different races despite competing against professionals who dedicate their time to perfecting the craft of online racing.
But the three-time World Champion doesn't like to race only competitively; he also likes to have fun with his friends while playing iRacing, an online racing simulation video game.
Ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he was seen playing the game until 4 a.m., and some were quick to criticize the Dutch driver for being irresponsible for staying up till so late.
However, as Verstappen explained in his post-race press conference, it wasn't about irresponsibility but the opposite. With drivers traveling to different time zones, the current World Drivers' Championship leader tries to stick to European times rather than adjust every time.

"I stay on European or even UK schedule so I go to bed at like 4 a.m. I wake up late. Also, I have my own sim team so naturally just catching up with them a bit."

On top of that, he used it as a time away from the stressful nature of Formula One, as he got to chat and enjoy some time with his friends. The Dutch driver also owns a team, so it's important for him to communicate with them even if he has professional duties.

"It’s just unwinding as well, I don’t have a rig here, I’m driving on my controller. It’s just fun not having to think about Formula 1 and just be with people that you know. Whenever I can, I do it. I woke up this morning and had an hour spare so just logged in and had a bit of fun."