Verstappen hits the slopes: Defying Red Bull’s danger ban

Red Bull Racing seems to have relaxed its stance on Max Verstappen engaging in activities deemed risky, marking a significant shift from the team’s previous position. The change comes after Verstappen, the triple world champion, expressed disappointment over restrictions that kept him from skiing among other “dangerous extracurricular activities.” Verstappen had pointed out the inherent risks in everyday life, arguing, “You can also slip in the shower and break your neck. There is risk in anything.”

The 26-year-old Dutchman, gearing up for a grueling season with a record-setting 24 Grand Prix calendar, shared insights into his preparation, which included a change in his training regime. Verstappen has teamed up with a new trainer, Rupert Manwaring, after his former trainer, Bradley Scanes, decided to step back for family reasons. Notably, Manwaring previously worked with Carlos Sainz, indicating Verstappen’s strategic move to poach a trainer with a solid understanding of F1 drivers’ needs.

At the launch of Red Bull’s 2024 car, Verstappen revealed, “I also went skiing again for the first time in years. I was careful of course and didn’t leave the slopes. But I feel fit and I really enjoy working with Rupert already.” This comment not only confirms his return to skiing but also reflects his positive outlook on the new training partnership.

Despite not being fond of training, Verstappen acknowledges its necessity, striving to make it as enjoyable as possible. He shared, “I don’t like training, but I know I have to and I try to make it as fun as possible.” The collaboration with Manwaring seems to have taken him out of his comfort zone, a shift from his preference for training in warmer climates during the European winter.

Verstappen and Manwaring have worked closely to develop a training regimen that suits the high demands of Formula 1, with Verstappen noting, “He already worked in Formula 1, so he basically knows what a driver needs. I’m used to certain things, so is he, then you look together to see what is best.” This tailored approach has led to a training schedule that Verstappen describes as “nice and good,” leaving him feeling “fit and fresh” for the challenges ahead.

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