It appears that Max Verstappen is not only pretty handy when it comes to driving a Formula 1 car; the Dutchman also has a peculiar talent, something he displayed during Free Practice 2 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen has made an exceptional start to the seventh round of the 2023 F1 season, with the reigning World Champion having topped Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2.
The 25-year-old topped the first session of the weekend by a remarkable seven-tenths of a second, whilst he topped FP2 by just over a tenth.
He is by far the favourite for victory this weekend, which would mark three on the bounce if he is victorious at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday.
He was performing so well in Spain on Friday, that he had the time to listen incredibly closely to a radio message, where he heard a phone ringing in the background.
Somehow, Verstappen asked if it was Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko’s phone which was going off, something he successfully guessed.
Either Verstappen has a talent for recognising ringtones, or he’s been spending too much time with the 80-year-old!
“Ok Max, looking like nine timed, nine timed,” said Verstappen’s race engineer, whilst a phone could be heard ringing in the background.
“Someone’s phone is going. Is that Helmut’s?” asked the Red Bull driver.
“Yes,” replied his race engineer over the radio.
Having dominated the top of the timesheets on Friday, the two-time World Champion will certainly be entering qualifying on Saturday as the obvious favourite, with him already feeling “very comfortably in the car”.
“We had a good day today,” Verstappen said after FP2, as per Formula 1’s official website.
“The car was in a good window, of course we will try to fine tune a few things here and there, but the short runs and long runs look good.
“The last two corners are better and more fun to drive; F1 cars feel much better at high speed. I tried to follow a few cars through there as well and it seemed okay – I’m positively surprised by the overtaking opportunities.”
Verstappen added: “From my side, I felt very comfortable in the car, looking after the tyres. I still need to look at the lap times of others, but from our side it was a good day.”