Max Verstappen has revealed an embarrassing jibe from his father during his junior formula days means he will not be using padding inside the cockpit of his Red Bull at this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix.
Formula 1 returns to Istanbul Park for the first time since 2011 and the circuit, largely down to its anti-clockwise layout and the notorious turn eight, will exact considerable physical pressures on the drivers over the course of the weekend.
When asked whether he would run with padding to support his neck through the race, Verstappen explained that a dig from father Jos while testing a Formula 3 car many years ago convinced him then it was not the right course of action.
"I remember my very first F3 test I did, after one day I couldn't hold my neck straight," said Verstappen, who would have been 16 at the time.
"I had to put my padding in and my dad was laughing at me for using that. Since that day, I refuse to put padding. I prefer that my head falls off than run with padding so it will be the same this weekend."
Assessing the nature of a track he has never driven on previously, Verstappen added: "It looks very interesting. I remember playing this a lot on the F1 game back in the day because I thought it was a very cool track.
"I am looking forward to driving myself, especially turn eight. It will be flat anyway but [with] the g-forces on your body for such a long time, that will be quite cool"
The race will mark the second out of the previous three events where a brand new track surface will be used, following the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix in October.
Alex Albon, who will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him score his first podium at Mugello in September, revealed his concerns over the condition of the track and whether the new surface would yield sufficient grip over the weekend.
"It looks pretty cool but on the track walk, it looks really dirty," he explained. "It kind of reminds me of Portimão a little bit with the resurfaced circuits we are going to.
"I thought they were going to bed it in because obviously, in Portimão, the drivers complained there was such low grip so I thought the plan was to drive around before we came here but I don't know if they have done that.
"I saw the safety car out this morning and it looked slippery."
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