Double World Champion Max Verstappen today swapped grand prix racing on land for the F1 of the seas as he took to the waves in Barcelona with Arnaud Psarofaghis and the Alinghi Red Bull Racing America’s Cup Team.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing welcomed Max Verstappen to the team base in Barcelona for a behind-the-scenes look at the Swiss challenger’s preparations for the 37th America’s Cup, ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, where he will be hoping to earn a seventh win from the first seven races of the 2023 championship.

Often referred to as the F1 of the sea, America’s Cup boats, which effectively fly across the waves on foils below the surface, are right at the cutting edge of aerodynamic and materials technology – just like Max’s race-winning Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19.

And the double world champion was given an insight into just how high-tech Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s operation is with an in-depth tour of its Barcelona HQ, including meetings with the team’s designers and crew members as well as a session on the Swiss squad’s simulator in the company of skipper, Arnaud Psarofaghis.

Max’s America’s Cup experience wasn’t just virtual, however, and the driver also had the chance to go for a spin on the water at speeds of up to 100km/h on board the team’s chase boat in order to get a feel for what racing the America’s Cup is really like.

“I’ve had a great day with Alinghi Red Bull Racing and skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis,” said Max Verstappen.

“They took me around on the boat up close to see what the team is doing, and I loved it. It was great to hear the insights from the team and hearing about the technical side, it’s always nice 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 the team of eight racers. It’s all about communication and working together to get the best result out of it. Plus, it might rain on the weekend and as I’ve already been on the water it might help me!”

For Alinghi Red Bull Racing skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis the meeting with Max was a unique opportunity to hear from a champion with similar experience of competing in a sport that prizes precision, preparation and the perfect match of technology and commitment.

“It has been amazing to have the opportunity to exchange with someone that is at the top of their game like Max is,” added Alinghi Red Bull Racing skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis.

“We have a lot to learn from his way of approaching 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 his own on the racetrack. On our boat, we’re eight people in the cockpit, we have to communicate with each other and be perfectly coordinated to perform. Having welcomed Max here, I’m very much looking forward to going to the Grand Prix on Sunday to cheer for him!”

Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s charge towards the 2024 edition of the America’s Cup is being boosted by support from Red Bull Advanced Technologies with the high-tech engineering solutions arm of Red Bull leveraging its F1-bred expertise in aerodynamics, composites, software and simulations to help propel the Swiss team to success.

Oracle Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, the legendary F1 designer, joined Max for the visit to the Swiss Challenger’s Barcelona base to see how the team is progressing with the development of its AC75 boat.

“It’s been a brilliant experience today,” said Adrian Newey.

“There is such 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. There is plenty for us to learn from and that shows as the partnership between the two is certainly bearing fruit. Our guys are enjoying working with them and I think Alinghi Red Bull Racing is finding our contribution useful. I’ve really enjoyed seeing that come to life today and look forward to working together further as we gear up for the 37th America’s Cup.”

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