F1 driver Max Verstappen shows he can outrun a 400mph SPITFIRE in a series of challenges – Asia Despatch

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F1 driver Max Verstappen shows he can outrun a 400mph SPITFIRE in a series of challenges against Britain’s most recognisable vehicles ahead of Sunday’s Silverstone Grand Prix

  • Max Verstappen took on a series of British icons in some wacky races at Goodwood ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix at Silverstone
  • Red Bull driver took on a London bus, black cab and a boy racer in his F1 car
  • Verstappen then roared down the finishing straight pursued by a Spitfire
  • It was a photo finish between his Red Bull and the Second World War aircraft
  • Verstappen will be hoping to beat title rival Lewis Hamilton on his home track 

Max Verstappen is aiming to extend his Formula One championship lead over Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone this weekend – and he seems determined to out-race every other British icon while he’s over here.

The Red Bull driver from Holland took on a red London bus, a black cab and even the ubiquitous white van in a lap of the famous Goodwood circuit in west Sussex.

But having left all of them in the dust in the Championship-winning RB7, Verstappen astonishingly then out-paced a 400mph Spitfire.

The World War Two fighter plane swooped over the circuit, which is set to stage the British Grand Prix, and ended up in a thrilling photo finish with Verstappen at full throttle.

Max Verstappen, driving the championship-winning Red Bull DB7, is chased down by a World War Two Spitfire during a race at Goodwood Motor Circuit in west Sussex

Max Verstappen, driving the championship-winning Red Bull DB7, is chased down by a World War Two Spitfire during a race at Goodwood Motor Circuit in west Sussex

It proved to be a close run thing between the F1 car and the 400mph Spitfire in the challenge

It proved to be a close run thing between the F1 car and the 400mph Spitfire in the challenge 

Dutch driver Verstappen will be at Silverstone looking to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton

Dutch driver Verstappen will be at Silverstone looking to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton 

The Red Bull car is capable of race speeds of about 220mph and Verstappen was at full pelt on the home straight as the Spitfire, which followed only the final few corners, reeled him in with far superior straight line speed.   

Naturally, the London bus, for all its practical use, and the black cab, which can turn on a sixpence, were no match for the speed of the RB7, in which Sebastian Vettel won the 2011 world title.

Even the British boy racer, on two wheels for part of the race, was forced to give in.

It looked for a few seconds as though the Spitfire would scream overhead and beat Verstappen with the chequered flag in sight but in the end it was too close to call.  

Verstappen’s Red Bull has proved the pace-setter in the early rounds of the F1 Championship and the 23-year-old has a 32-point lead over defending champion Hamilton going into the Mercedes driver’s home race.

And Verstappen said: ‘When we were at Silverstone last year, the track was amazing, but the atmosphere was missing.

The Spitfire swooped over the Goodwood circuit but couldn't out-run Verstappen's car

The Spitfire swooped over the Goodwood circuit but couldn’t out-run Verstappen’s car

Red Bull have set the pace in this year's championship and will be hoping for another win

Red Bull have set the pace in this year’s championship and will be hoping for another win 

Verstappen overtakes a 'boy racer' on two wheels during his wacky races challenge

Verstappen overtakes a ‘boy racer’ on two wheels during his wacky races challenge

It came as little surprise the Red Bull driver was quicker than a London bus and a black cab

It came as little surprise the Red Bull driver was quicker than a London bus and a black cab

‘To have the British crowd back again in full attendance will be really special and I hope that the race is going to be just as exciting.’

Over 140,000 spectators will be at Silverstone to watch Sunday’s race after it was designated one of the Government’s sports pilot events. 

Everyone present will have to provide proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test taken in the previous 48 hours.  

It will be the biggest ticketed event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the majority in attendance will be desperate for Hamilton to close the gap in the title race. 

It will see Sprint Qualifying used on Saturday to determine the grid for Sunday’s race. Traditional qualifying will be held a day earlier than usual on Friday and set the grid for Saturday’s 30-minute, 100km mini-race. 

Around 140,000 spectators are expected at Silverstone this weekend. Lewis Hamilton crowd surfed after winning the race there two years ago

Around 140,000 spectators are expected at Silverstone this weekend. Lewis Hamilton crowd surfed after winning the race there two years ago 

Red Bull Racing Honda Team Principal Christian Horner said: ‘I think Silverstone is going to be a big challenge. It’s been a stronghold of Mercedes for several years now, but it’s another opportunity to win.  

‘And of course, with the first of the new Sprint Races this year it’s going to be a new event format – and extra points are available. 

‘Whatever happens it’s going to be a really exciting weekend and we are ready for the fight.’ 

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