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F1

Strap in for a virtual-reality ride around Belgium with Max Verstappen

Watch F1 World Champion Max Verstappen step inside a virtual world in From Sim to Reality as the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver prepares for the Belgian Grand Prix in a truly unique way.
By Paul Keith
3 min readPublished on
In this fun, fictionalised clip, the action starts back at the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team factory and the Erena, the base for Red Bull Racing's F1 Esport team. Max Verstappen, who's an eager esports gamer himself, is being put through his paces in a variety of scenarios before he heads to Spa-Francorchamps for the classic Belgian Grand Prix on August 28.
The challenge facing Verstappen is all too real: snaking 7km (4.4 miles) around the hills and forests of the Ardennes, Spa is an astonishing old-school F1 circuit.
From the start line, the drivers pitch into a deep valley, through the famous Eau Rouge and up into the Belgian hills towards renowned corners like Rivage, Pouhon and Blanchimont, before descending to the Bus Stop chicane and back to the start-finish line. It's the longest circuit on the F1 calendar and a throwback to the era of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. The list of multiple winners on the circuit reads like a who's who of giants of the sport: Schumacher, Senna, Raïkkönen, Hamilton and Vettel.
Belgian-born Verstappen has been winning at Spa since before he even broke into F1, victorious on all three races in his visit to the track in F3 in 2014. Since then, he's been on the podium here three times, including his victory last year, albeit in a race that was shortened due to non-stop, torrential rain.
Check out how From Sim to Reality was made in the behind the scenes video below:

11 min

From sim to reality – how it was made

Go behind the scenes of filming where Max Verstappen gets sucked into an alternative reality on the simulator.

English +3

This year, Verstappen is leaving nothing to chance. Before he hurtles around the track in the RB18 that he's powered to the top of the Drivers' World Championship, he's taking a few simulated challenges featuring some of the biggest sporting stars from the host nation.
With its hairpins, chicanes and fast complexes, Spa demands precision control, and so Verstappen starts by putting himself to the test with a drift run through a quarry. In the gaming world, he needs to avoid dynamite detonating the rocks around him, and in the real world, he needs precision, a turn of speed and nerves of steel.
Spa is all about long climbs and tests the driver's stamina, and who has more stamina than a Tour de France cyclist? Superstar Wout van Aert is on hand to put Verstappen through his paces and join in a pit stop.
He'll also be racing in the forest, albeit not off-road, which is why he faces a bonus challenge from WRC driver Thierry Neuville, while Dakarist Guillaume de Mevius provides the opposition in a friendly cross-country buggy race through the trees.
Strap in and enjoy the action in From Sim to Reality as we rev up for the return of Formula One and the magnificent Belgian Grand Prix with this high-speed race around Belgium.