Duel In The Desert

Max and Alex kick off the final grand prix weekend of the year getting some free air out in the desert!

Before getting down to the serious business of the season finale at Yas Marina, Max and Alex took advantage of their surroundings on Wednesday, heading into the desert outside Abu Dhabi to sample a rather different kind of racing machine; bouncing across the desert dunes in a Honda powered buggy.

Arriving in refined comfort in a brand new Aston Martin DBX, the drivers were soon rather more hot and sweaty, jumping dunes and doing donuts in their buggy. While Max had sampled similar kit before, this was an introduction for Alex. Fortunately, Red Bull athlete Mohammed Balooshi, motocross and desert rally rider, was on hand to deliver a few pointers.

As is always the case when the drivers share a ride, the temptation to out-do each other is strong, leading to some quite spectacular free air as they leapt over crests and ploughed across ridges, against a magnificent desert backdrop.

While both drivers had attacks of adrenaline-fuelled giggles after driving the buggy, neither seemed particular keen on being in the passenger seat, with Alex confessing that the experience was much, much worse than being a passenger on a hot lap of a race track.

“It was good fun. It was the first time buggy driving for me, Max has done it before, but it was also my first time as a passenger with Max. It’s a very different feeling because it’s not like a circuit. On a circuit you know where the person is going to be going, in a buggy, one time Max is going on the right over a jump, the next time he’s half way on top of a dune and you don’t know which way we’re going to drift off to. I wasn’t used to that.”

“For me, it’s been a good first year in F1. I’m excited for next year and of course it’s never something I thought would happen. It’s been an amazing 12 months.”

Happily, no drivers – or buggies – were hurt during the experience. “It was great going out on the buggies." said an enthused Max afterwards. "It’s always great to try new things and we are lucky to get that opportunity with the Team.”

“From my side, I think it’s been a pretty good year. Three victories and quite a few podiums is always good, but as a Team and myself, we always want more so we are already looking ahead to next year where hopefully we can challenge for the championship.”