Renowned for his prowess on the racing circuit, two-time World Champion Max Verstappen made a detour on route to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, with a thrilling pivot from land to sea to join Alinghi Red Bull Racing in their 37th America’s Cup preparations.
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Verstappen visited the heart of Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s operations in Barcelona for an exclusive tour that offered a backstage look at the Swiss challenger’s pre-race planning for the 37th America’s Cup, being held in Barcelona next year.
The visit comes just before the Spanish Grand Prix, where Verstappen is looking to seal an impressive seventh straight win for his team in the 2023 championship.
Described as the nautical equivalent of Formula 1, America’s Cup boats leverage cutting-edge aerodynamics and material technology that parallels the impressive Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19, Verstappen’s race-winning vehicle.
These advanced yachts skim the water’s surface, employing hydrofoils for propulsion, which gives the feeling of flying across the waves at lightning speeds.
A deep dive into the intricacies of Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s operations was on the agenda for Verstappen. His itinerary included an engaging tour of the Barcelona headquarters, meetings with the design team and crew members, and an enlightening session on the Swiss squad’s simulator, guided by skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis.
In addition to his digital exploration of America’s Cup racing, Verstappen had the unique opportunity to ride aboard the team’s Chase Boat, reaching speeds of up to 100km/h on the Mediterranean waves, providing an authentic taste of America’s Cup racing.
Max Verstappen said:
I’ve had a great day with Alinghi Red Bull Racing and skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis. They took me around on the boat up close to see what the team was doing, and I loved it. It was great to hear the team’s insights and the technical side. It’s always lovely for me to understand a bit more about it. Both F1 and sailing are about communication and teamwork. When I’m in the car, I communicate with so many people to make everything work over a race weekend, and it’s the same here with a team of eight racers. It’s all about communication and working together to get the best result. Plus, it might rain on the weekend, and since I’ve already been on the water, it might help me!
For Alinghi Red Bull Racing skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis, this occasion was a valuable chance to gain insights from Verstappen, an experienced champion who understands the demanding integration of precision, preparation, and the perfect union of technology and dedication in high-stakes sports.
Arnaud Psarofaghis added:
It has been amazing to have the opportunity to exchange with someone that is at the top of their game like Max is. We have much to learn from his approach to high technology and racing under pressure. If you compare F1 and our boat, Max is alone in his car and must make quick decisions on the race track. On our boat, we’re eight people in the cockpit, and we have to communicate with each other and be perfectly coordinated to perform.
As they prepare for the 2024 America’s Cup, the Swiss team is supported by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, which brings its F1-inspired expertise in aerodynamics, composite materials, software, and simulations to the team.
Alongside Verstappen, Adrian Newey, the esteemed F1 designer and Chief Technical Officer of Oracle Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, visited the Swiss Challenger’s Barcelona base to see the team’s progress on the AC75 boat.
Adrian Newey explained:
It’s been a brilliant experience today. There is a parallel between F1 and what is happening at Alinghi Red Bull Racing, as all the systems are broadly similar to our world; aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and lightweight composites. Then you have the synergy of humans and machines. So there is plenty to learn from, which shows that the partnership between the two bears fruit. Our guys enjoy working with them, and I think Alinghi Red Bull Racing finds our helpful contribution. I’ve enjoyed seeing that come to life today and look forward to working together further as we gear up for the 37th America’s Cup.
Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies have a keen interest in continuing to explore the engineering synergies between F1 and sailing technologies. The combined vision for the teams is to harness the power and speed of F1 and craft the ultimate sailing machine in a campaign to claim the oldest trophy in international sport at the 37th edition of America’s Cup.