Lando Norris, McLaren’s star driver, made an unexpected appearance in a charity sim event held by Team Redline on Sunday. This initiative, led by the current World Champion Max Verstappen, aimed to assist the Emilia-Romagna region after the unfortunate cancellation of its Grand Prix due to severe floods.
The region is currently under the grip of extreme weather conditions, causing catastrophic floods and landslides. The disastrous event has sadly taken more than ten lives and has placed considerable strain on the rescue teams. The relentless rain and subsequent flooding trapped F1 crew and fans in their lodgings. Amidst these trying times, Yuki Tsunoda was spotted lending a hand to clear the wreckage from one of the inundated villages.
Verstappen and his sim team came up with an innovative solution to aid those affected – a fundraising sim racing event on Sunday afternoon.
The cancellation of the Grand Prix last weekend due to the weather brought numerous teams and drivers, including Ferrari and F1, forward to offer their support. They generously gave €1 million each to help those most affected by the disaster. Other events, such as Norris’s charity stream on Friday and Williams’ sim event on Saturday, also took place over the weekend.
On Sunday, it was Team Redline’s turn to host an event. They ran a popular “Real Racers Never Quit” series event for a one-off special. This event, which rose to online fame during the COVID-19 pandemic, drew top racing drivers from across the globe, like reigning F2 World Champion Felipe Drugovich, Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan, and former Formula E Champion Antonio Felix da Costa.
While Norris initially had no intention of competing, he found himself live streaming the event. However, the situation changed when a Formula Fords race came up. Norris set up a wheel and joined the competitive lobby, causing quite a buzz. He even snagged an early (though illicit) lead, cheekily declaring, “MV1, eat my dust, baby!”
Norris’s lead was later overtaken by Verstappen, apparently violating track limits, to which Norris responded: “Track limits! FIA!”
While the sum raised from the event has not yet been disclosed by Team Redline, it unquestionably provided an entertaining spectacle for the thousands of viewers tuning in.