It’s Wednesday afternoon in São Paulo, and while the team will be at the track making sure the RB14s had a good flight, there’s nothing in particular at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace for the drivers to do. So, it's time for a game of Futsal.
Futsal, for the most part, is an indoor version of football – though we prefer the unconventional and in São Paulo, Daniel and Max were playing outdoors on the colourful, grafitti’d Futsal courts at Vila Madalena. While we had rain in the morning, the sun obligingly came out when the drivers arrived. “It’s been quite cool learning the sport,” explained Daniel. “It’s more about technique and learning drills; so the game is more technical than a power game.”
On hand to put the boys through their paces were Red Bull athletes and Futsal professionals Lu Caneta, Kelwin Clayton Soares Alves, Ketlen Wiggers and Kelly Rodrigues. The drivers did some drills and then played a game of three on three. It was – as is usually the case with Max and Daniel – highly competitive.
“I think I did alright, I certainly learnt some stuff,” said Daniel afterwards. “I think purely on skills, I had Max, but he’s got a pretty good shot on him – it’s the only thing he can do well but it converts into goals. And he runs a lot – because he’s still young, and has a lot of energy so possibly he had the upper hand in the game.”
“Yep, my team won,” clarified Max. “The thing is, Daniel doesn’t really understand the game. He likes to carry the ball with his hands – it’s an Aussie thing.”
“We practiced a few skills beforehand,” continued Max. “It was good to see how it’s done and we got a bit of a sweat on. I’m able to do it when I’m playing FIFA – but those player’s are a lot more skilful than I am! But when you start playing, you fall back on old habits and it’s all about running and trying to score.”
We’d like to say Futsal was the winner, but Max and Daniel spent as much time laughing as they did shooting. Tomorrow they’ll be at Interlagos, putting their talents to rather better use as preparation begins for the Brazilian Grand Prix.