Max Verstappen has opened up about how he takes his "hobby" of virtual racing "very seriously", with the activity taking up a lot of his time away from Formula 1.
Verstappen is known to be a keen fan of online racing, having participated in the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual and Virtual Sebring 12 Hours with the Team Redline outfit.
When he's not thinking about his day job in F1, the Red Bull driver admits that performing well in the virtual world is similarly important to him.
Verstappen reflects on 'hobby'
"It's like my hobby but I take it very seriously," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think it never hurts [in preparing for F1] because you always test yourself.
"I mainly drive other kinds of cars on online platforms than F1, but you're always thinking about what can I improve also driving-wise but also set-up-wise and that's what I enjoy.
"I go to bed probably thinking more about the simulator or a car there than what I do sometimes in F1, just because I also want to do well there.
"It sometimes takes up a lot of time but I love it."
Viewed by others:
Does virtual racing help in F1?
On whether his preparations when participating in virtual racing help when he returns to the real-life track in F1, Verstappen feels that it "doesn't hurt".
"It's difficult to say if it actually helps me in Formula 1, but I definitely think it doesn't hurt," the two-time World Champion added.
"Also in your off-season you do that [virtual racing], but when I jump back in a Formula 1 car it feels like I never left."