- Dutch F1 ace to join Australian Supercars virtual series
- Verstappen and Shane van Gisbergen are good mates
- Opens the door for more wildcard racers
Huge news for Supercars fans - Formula 1 megastar Max Verstappen is set to race as a wildcard for Red Bull in the second round of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries.
The young Dutchman is easily one of the biggest names in world motorsport and will line up as a wildcard in the second round of the Supercars Eseries in a Holden Commodore.
Verstappen will compete against Supercars’ best drivers from Australia and New Zealand at Silverstone and Barcelona.
Verstappen’s virtual Supercar will run similar colours to his 2020 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 car.
In 2016, Verstappen became the youngest-ever F1 race winner, claiming his maiden victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at just 18 years of age.
Despite Supercars not being one of his go-to iRacing Series, Verstappen says he’s looking forward to taking on the Supercars drivers this Wednesday.
“I’m looking forward to the race. It’s going to be a challenge as it’s not a car I’ve driven a lot on the sim, but they are pretty cool to watch in real life," he told supercars.com.
"We always race with Supercars in Melbourne so it’s going to be interesting to see how I get on against all the regular drivers.
“I’ve tried the Supercar now a few times on iRacing and it’s a very tricky car to get right. I’m looking forward to racing alongside my mate Shane, or Pastor, as I call him – he’s a top shunter on the sim!
"We race online a lot together so hopefully we can do well for Red Bull and it should be a bit of fun racing against the other V8 drivers as well.”
Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Shane van Gisbergen says he’s looking forward to going door-to-door with his online racing friend on Wednesday night.
“It’s awesome that a driver of Max’s calibre will be on the grid to take us on in a Red Bull Supercar,” said van Gisbergen, who's currently holed up in New Zealand under COVID-19 isolation conditions.
“He’s fast and he knows these tracks well, so I expect to see him at the front.
“He’s put in plenty of hours in a Supercar online. Just like he races in an F1, he’s aggressive and won’t back down against anyone, so it will be great to have him on the grid this week.”
While he is yet to drive one, Verstappen jumped aboard a current-generation Holden Commodore Supercar with seven-time champion Jamie Whincup at Albert Park in an exhibition lap at the Australian Grand Prix in 2019 (below).
With the announcement that Verstappen will race in the Eseries, the door is now open for other racing superstars to make guest appearances in the series.
McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris is a noted sim racer, and has links to the series via Walkinshaw Andretti United Racing. Equally, DJR Penske can call on the services of racers like Indy 500 winner and multiple champion Will Power, who has acquitted himself well alongside Scott McLaughlin in the virtual version of IndyCar's 2020 season.
The Supercars Eseries kicked off last week with two races around Phillip Island and two around Monza in Italy. All 25 drivers in the 2020 Supercars series are obliged to compete in the series, unlike F1's virtual series, which has kicked off to a mixed reaction.
In fact, Verstappen has been reported as saying he will not compete in the F1 2020 series because he doesn't like the game.
The #33 Red Bull Holden of Verstappen will compete in four races this Wednesday night (15 April); two will be held at at Silverstone and two at Barcelona.
The event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, Kayo, Sky Sports (NZ) and 10 Play from 7pm – 9pm AEST, while overseas fans can watch on on Red Bull TV.