Verstappen’s Ferrari Test Impresses Team Boss, Deemed World-Class

Max Verstappen tested a Ferrari 296 GT3 at the Portimao circuit during the winter break, as part of an intensive test programme with Emil Frey Racing to support the development of Thierry Vermeulen, with whom he alternated behind the wheel.


‣ Max Verstappen tested in a Ferrari 296 GT3 at the Portimao circuit during the winter break, the same car Thierry Vermeulen competes in for Emil Frey Racing.
‣ This is not the first time Verstappen has driven Vermeulen’s Ferrari, having done so earlier in 2023 at the Mugello circuit.
‣ Verstappen’s test laps are part of his mentorship of Thierry Vermeulen, and he worked with Emil Frey Racing to complete an intensive test programme to support Vermeulen’s development.
‣ Verstappen drove around 100 laps on the first day of testing, impressing team boss Lorenz Frey-Hilti with his skill and feedback in a GT3 car.

Max Verstappen, the F1 champ, was spotted testing a Ferrari at Portimao. But hold your horses! It wasn’t a Formula 1 car. Instead, it was a Ferrari 296 GT3. The same model Thierry Vermeulen races in the DTM class for Emil Frey Racing.

Verstappen in a Ferrari? Deja Vu!

This isn’t Verstappen’s first rodeo with Vermeulen’s Ferrari. He did a similar test run at the Mugello circuit in 2023. The reason? Verstappen’s mentoring Thierry Vermeulen, son of manager Raymond Vermeulen. Jos Verstappen, Thierry’s coach, was also there.

The two-day test at Portimao wasn’t just for kicks. Verstappen and Emil Frey Racing were on a mission. They were testing different set-ups. The goal? To leverage Verstappen’s F1 expertise to aid Vermeulen’s development. Team boss Lorenz Frey-Hilti spilled the beans to

Verstappen didn’t just show up. He drove. For both days. He clocked around 100 laps on day one, taking turns with Vermeulen. “We’re thrilled to have him use our race team services,” said the team boss. “Working with him on test days is fantastic.”

Frey-Hilti was blown away by Verstappen’s skills. He had nothing but praise for what Verstappen could do in a GT3 car. “He’s incredibly humble and a genuinely nice guy. His passion for motorsport is infectious. His feedback on the GT3 car is unlike anything I’ve seen. He’s world-class,” he gushed.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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