Teenage Formula 1 sensation Max Verstappen has received a Supercars crash course at Albert Park.
The 19-year-old Dutchman visited the garage of fellow Red Bull-backed drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup ahead of today’s opening F1 practice sessions.
Verstappen carved out a reputation as one of the sport’s hardest chargers in his first two seasons of F1 and again lines up alongside Australian Daniel Ricciardo in 2017.
Reigning Supercars champion van Gisbergen was left impressed by Verstappen’s knowledge of Supercars and eagerness to understand the details of the Holden Commodore.
“It was cool that he knew a lot about our series and watches the races from time to time,” van Gisbergen told Supercars.com.
“He was genuinely interested in our cars and was keen to learn what the cars are like.
“He asked if I left-foot braked and I said that I couldn’t but I heel-and-toe.
“He had a funny look on his face and said he’d never done that in his life!
“We have very different upbringings, he’s a bit of a Playstation kid, but he’s clearly a massive talent.
“He was asking all the questions and is obviously pretty keen to drive one.
“Maybe one day he can have a skid of the Sandman or even the race car.”
Ricciardo drove Red Bull’s Sandman ride car at Sandown last year ahead of the Rolex Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Van Gisbergen, whose proven his own versatility jumping between Supercars and GT machinery in recent years, is keen to see how a driver like Verstappen would handle a full-blown Supercars test.
“I’d love for any of those F1 guys to jump in and see how good they’d go,” he said.
“The biggest thing would be the braking, but (Fabian) Coulthard left-foot brakes and he goes alright.
“Cornering without much aero would be a big shock though as well.
“We have 200kg of front downforce at 200km/h and they have that driving down pitlane.
“It’s pretty crazy the differences.”
The Coates Hire Supercars Challenge at Albert Park continues today with Race 1 at 1:50pm and Race 2 at 5:50pm.