‘4am for you!’ Max Verstappen explains reason for late-night sim racing before Saudi GP victory

Max Verstappen revealed all after a clip of him simulator racing at 4am prior to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Saturday went viral online.

The three-time world champion has won 19 of the last 20 F1 races amid an astonishing victory streak, the latest leading home another one-two finish for Red Bull in Jeddah on Saturday night.

Yet prior to the race, a clip of Verstappen’s voice-over on an iracing clip on gaming site Twitch received attention on social media, given the time the Dutchman was still up in Saudi.

“Alright boys, I’m also going to go to bed,” Verstappen said, before another gamer commented: “4am for you mate!”

Verstappen replied: “Yeah! Alright, I’ll speak to you guys tomorrow, sleep well!”

Asked further about the clip, Verstappen explained why he was up so late while sim racing with his own team: Team Redline.

“I stay on European or even UK schedule so I go to bed at like 4am,” Verstappen said in his post-race press conference.

“I wake up late. Also, I have my own sim team so naturally just catching up with them a bit. 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.”

Verstappen often shares clips of himself gaming in Esports competitions and won the virtual 24 Hours of Daytona in January.

The Red Bull driver managed to indulge in online gaming despite the speculation surrounding his future in Jeddah, after stating could quit the team should adviser Helmut Marko be forced out amid the saga surrounding team boss Christian Horner.

However, Marko confirmed on Saturday that he was staying with the team while Red Bull chief Oliver Mintzlaff insisted Verstappen – who has a contract until the end of the 2028 season – was going nowhere.

The 26-year-old already has a 15-point lead to team-mate Sergio Perez in the F1 drivers’ championship, having won the opening two races in the Middle East.