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Red Bull May Have Lost Sim Drivers In Monaco, But Max Verstappen’s Little Guest Could Become a Quick Replacement

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Red Bull May Have Lost Sim Drivers In Monaco, But Max Verstappen's Little Guest Could Become a Quick Replacement

Red Bull’s Monaco GP weekend has gotten off the wrong foot, with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez complaining about the RB20’s balance throughout Friday’s free practice sessions. To make matters worse, the team’s sim drivers are unavailable for the weekend. However, a silver lining for Verstappen comes in the form of a ‘special replacement’ available at his disposal.

Verstappen’s partner Kelly Piquet has been present in several of the Dutchman’s races over the years. But this year onwards, her daughter Penelope has also made appearances, gracing the Red Bull garage with some much-needed freshness.

The 4-year-old also decided to showcase some of her driving skills on a sim rig. Quickly, social media decided that Penelope was worthy of filling in as a Red Bull sim driver for the Monaco GP weekend.

Sitting on Verstappen’s lap, Penelope was steering the car on the Red Bull driver’s setup. She was good with her maneuvering of the F1 car around Monaco’s tight circuits, and it was Verstappen who took control of the pedals. Despite a few knocks here and there, Penelope was able to follow the racing line rather well.

As a result, Penelope was deemed a perfect replacement for Sebastian Buemi and Jake Dennis (Red Bull’s sim drivers) because both of them are in Shanghai for Formula E this weekend.

Max Verstappen and Penelope take over social media

With Penelope displaying incredible driving skills for a child her age, fans took to social media to laud her. Many suggested that, like Max, she too would become a Champion driver one day. 

Of course, suggesting Penelope would fill in for an actual F1 sim driver was in good jest. But, that doesn’t take her skills away. Some users noted that she was better than grown adults at steering a car around the streets of Monaco (virtually).

At the same time, Penelope’s driving skills don’t solve Verstappen’s problems in the Principality. The onus falls on him and Perez to get Red Bull’s set up right. Or else, the weekend’s spoils could land in favor of McLaren, Ferrari, or Mercedes.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Naman Gopal Srivastava


Naman is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. Initially a football fanatic who worships Puyol and Leo Messi, Naman soon fell in love with the world of F1 upon reading about Jim Clarke. While the current era drivers do fascinate him, Naman still chooses to idolize Clarke and Ayrton Senna. When he is not busy watching the highlights of some of the greatest races of his idols, Naman can be found scribbling little snippets in his diary of poems or out in the town, exploring new places to eat.

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