Formula 1A private plane is not private anymore. Max Verstappen’s flight movements can be followed on Twitter for a month. Wherever the Dutch Formula 1 champion travels with the expensive plane he bought from Richard Branson, via Tweet embed Inform you of his whereabouts.
Airport pressures, it’s something Max Verstappen won’t struggle with even in F1’s busiest year of all time – 23 races in 8 months is of course quite a bit. Because since the end of 2020, the Dutchman has been the owner of a private jet: the Falcon 900EX. He bought the device from Virgin boss and billionaire Richard Branson, who in turn actually acquired it. Verstappen would have paid €10-12 million for his third giant, to which he could add an additional €2-3 million in maintenance costs annually.
Verstappen aboard the Falcon 900 EX:
Verstappen immediately customized the device to his liking. The original white bodywork was turned black and orange, while a lion’s head with his initials was added to the tail of the plane – just like the one on his racing helmet. Inside, the gigantic structure is divided into four sections: the cockpit, the middle section of the aircraft – with sofa bed and seven luxurious seats – a kitchenette and finally the bathroom and other sanitary facilities. These details have been known for some time, but the private plane’s movements through the airspace are no longer private now.
Since last month, every move the ship makes is being recorded and posted to a Twitter account. It’s called VerstappenJet, and the brain behind it hears the name of Menno Swart, a Dutch aviation journalist. How does this actually work? The specially programmed robot, created by a programmer Swart works with, collects information about Verstappen’s jet from raw data boxes. The tweets are then sent automatically about take-off and landing.
Last post on Twitter so far: Verstappen is back in Bahrain from Dubai
For Swart, following Verstappen is basically a hobby: “He flies a lot. Plus: Verstappen is cute, because he doesn’t rent his machine. So, there’s a good chance he’s already in it,” write our colleagues from De Volkskrant via Van Swart, who, According to him, he has not yet received angry emails from the Verstappen camp. “Anyway, it’s also general information otherwise it’s better to rent a private one. It’s often cheaper then it’s more private anyway, because you don’t know who’s on board. I think he also really likes to have a private jet.”
This is what the interior of a similar device looks like:
Unique in F1, but not in other sports
The plane matches Verstappen’s status as one of the highest paid athletes in the world. Thanks to a recent contract extension, which is said to be worth €200 million over five years, he has been included in Forbes’ top 20 financial magazine. In this exclusive group, many top athletes travel in their private jet. Lionel Messi, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, among others, are among the group that wants to avoid crowding at airports and can also afford it. Big competitor Lewis Hamilton was also one of them, but he decided to sell his own plane – a bright red Bombardier Challenger 605, see photo below – because … he wanted to live more environmentally conscious. Thus, Verstappen remains the only F1 pilot to move through the airspace in this way.
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