Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has been praised by fellow Team Redline member Atze Kerkhof, with the Dutchman being responsible for making today’s charity sim event possible.
Following the cancellation of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, several fans called for a sim event to take place in order to raise money for the Emilia-Romagna region, which has been devastated by horrific weather.
Torrential rain in the region has resulted in widespread flooding and landslides, resulting in the loss of several lives.
The emergency services are currently being stretched to their limits, with Ferrari and F1 having both donated €1 million to support the flood relief.
Lando Norris held a charity stream on Twitch Friday evening to raise money for the region, whilst Williams held their own sim racing event on Saturday to also raise money.
The biggest event, though, is set to take place at 14:30 GMT on Sunday thanks to Verstappen, with several racing drivers having come together for the return of Team Redline’s ‘Real Racers Never Quit’ series, which started during the recent pandemic.
Verstappen will be joined for four virtual races at Imola by reigning F2 World Champion Felipe Drugovich, Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan, former Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa as well as several other drivers from the world of motorsport.
Kerkhof revealed that it was Verstappen who spoke to Team Redline about putting an event on to support the flood relief in Emilia-Romagna, with the sim racer admitting that it “says a lot” about the Red Bull driver’s character.
“Max also puts a lot of time and energy into racing outside Formula One,” Kerkhof told Motorsport.com.
“The fact that he immediately started thinking about organising an alternative event after the race in Imola was cancelled says a lot in that respect.”
Verstappen is a keen sim racer and often competes for Team Redline in some of the biggest sim races in the world.
He’s even revealed previously how sim racing helps him improve when it comes to F1, given that in sim racing he’s often having to adapt do different cars in very little time.
“I’m constantly learning and adapting to what I need to do in each car to go as quick as possible,” Verstappen told the Washington Post.
“At the end of the day, that helps you when you go back to Formula One, because you have all of this experience in the back of your mind.
“Sometimes you might not be entirely happy with the set-up of your Formula 1 car, but you can draw on all of your different experiences in the simulator.”