Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen recently made tracks for the Austrian Alps and the Hahnenkamm Festival to enjoy a taste of the high life at Kitzbühel ski resort. So what better way to celebrate F1, the pinnacle of motorsport, than with a snow run at the home of the pinnacle of winter sports?
“I’ve never driven on snow,” said Verstappen after the run. “It was a real challenge; we had to put my tires in chains, it was very special. It was great fun and the enthusiasm of fans in Kitzbühel was great.”
Red Bull’s motorsport director Dr. Helmut Marko was on hand to watch his protégé in action. “It’s the perfect advert for Formula One,” he said. “It shows exactly what you can do with a little imagination. I’d have loved to have done this in my youth, but unfortunately nobody thought of it at the time …”
Also among the spectators was Austrian F1 legend Gerhard Berger. “Many of the fans here have probably never had the chance to experience Formula One up close,” Berger commented, “so seeing an F1 car this close, against this giant backdrop and feeling the power of the engine is quite unique.”
The Red Bull Racing showcar team spent a morning preparing the car to cope with its surroundings. An F1 car is accustomed to racing in hot weather, so in addition to making special snow tires for the car, the team had to raise the car, re-tune the engine and adjust the set-up to make it possible for Verstappen to handle the car in the snow.