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Verstappen emerges as SECRET tester for race team

Verstappen emerges as SECRET tester for race team

Verstappen emerges as SECRET tester for race team

Verstappen emerges as SECRET tester for race team

Max Verstappen has been taking time to test in a different category of motorsport recently in aid of friend Thierry Vermeulen.

The Red Bull driver has been assisting Vermeulen in improving the setup of his Emil Frey Racing team machine – which runs in the German GT3 category DTM.

Verstappen has had a marked effect on both car and driver, with the second half of last season seeing Vermeulen pick up seven top ten finishes in ten races – having failed to score any in the first six races of the season.

Although the Dutchman has shared interest in racing in other disciplines, it’s unlikely he prefers to leave F1 for DTM at the first opportunity, instead eyeing a shot at the Le Mans 24-hour race.

READ MORE: Red Bull boss Horner investigated for 'inappropriate behaviour'

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Frey-Hilti: Watching him work is extremely fascinating

According to Emil Frey Racing team manager Lorenz Frey-Hilti, Verstappen’s traits have made him a pleasure to work with, even if the move was confusing at first glance.

“Max is very straightforward, a very down-to-earth guy, very nice, with no star quality,” he told German outlet Blick. “Watching him work is extremely fascinating. After one or two laps, he's already reached top speed and works extremely meticulously. You can feel how immense his passion for racing is.

“There are countless GT3 teams. It was a great honour to be asked [to work with him]. Even if, at the beginning, we didn't really know what was behind this request.

“He makes a very tangible contribution to our being faster. Also, because it adapts very well to what Thierry needs. Of course, Thierry is Max's friend, but Max wants to see performance. As a coach, he gives him strict and clear directives.”

Verstappen starts his quest for a fourth consecutive Formula 1 world championship from the end of this month at the Bahrain Grand Prix, from 29 February – 2 March.

If his RB20 turns out to be as dominant as last year’s car, the rest of the grid could be in for another testing and unexciting season.

READ MORE: F1 champion reveals Hamilton would have STAYED at Mercedes if key condition met

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