We organised a little distraction from the tedium of the off-season by treating Pierre to a taste of Max’s homeland, with an informative and spiritually enriching trip to the Netherlands for a cerebral afternoon where culture was combined with a stimulating afternoon of museum hopping…

Wait, wait, hold on! No one liked that idea, least of all Max, so yesterday morning he opted instead to drive Pierre in his Aston Martin Vantage to the speed skating track at Flevonice in the town Biddinghuizen where Max’s old junior kart team was hard at work prepping a couple of karts with studded tyres. 

As a precursor to the new season, it couldn’t have been better, with both F1 stars quickly getting stuck into the tough task controlling the karts on the narrow ice track despite the arctic conditions.

Both were swiftly into the groove, and Max and Pierre were soon throwing in some impressive power slides, donuts and Scandinavian flicks along the start finish straight, and underneath the Tag Heuer bridge, all while the team captured video and drone footage.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Max afterwards. “It was the first time ice karting for me and it was actually pretty quick. I think at one point we were going over 100, in sixth gear, so it was great. I’ve been ice-skating before but never this; it’s a whole different deal. If I was to rate my drifts, I’d give myself an eight. This has been one of the most fun activities we’ve done, there have been a few really good ones but this is definitely one of the best. I had a lot of fun today with Pierre and it was a great way to start the season together.”

Pierre was equally enthusiastic, and a little bit surer of his skills, rating his drifts at 10 out of 10.

“There were a few nice moments with Max, just drifting side by side. It’s really different to what we would normally do on a proper track with an F1 car, so it’s cool to experience this kind of thing. 

“I love competing and when I was racing in the World Karting Championship and the European Championship, the adrenalin and competition made it super exciting but this was more of a fun day and it was great to do this with Max. Now I guess I should find something fun for him to do when he comes to France.”