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Snow joke - Verstappen hits the slopes in a Red Bull

14 Jan 2016

Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen indulged in some rather extreme pre-season ‘testing’ on Thursday as he took a Red Bull show car for an icy spin on a specially designed section of the legendary Streif ski course in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

The spectacular show run, organised a week ahead of the prestigious Hahnenkamm alpine ski race, required meticulous planning from Red Bull’s demonstration team, who had to fly the specially-liveried RB7 onto the mountain by helicopter.

Despite running at an altitude of 1,600 metres and in temperatures below freezing, very few modifications had to be made to the 2011 machine, aside from raising the car’s ride height and fitting it with studded Pirelli tyres and snow chains.

It was then left to 2015’s most impressive rookie to dazzle the large crowd of onlookers with a flurry of drive-bys and a frosty display of donuts.

"It was something really special - not just driving on the snow but driving on top of the mountain," Verstappen said. "The scenery was incredible, I enjoyed it a lot and I think all the spectators enjoyed it just as much as I did. I'd never driven any kind of car on snow or ice, never mind a Formula One car, it really was amazing.

"The main difficulty was what you'd expect – it was really slippery! But added to that was the fact that it was on a mountainside. You're on a slope, you don't want to start sliding, and you really don't want to make any mistakes. The guys did a fantastic job of designing a course and mapping out a track and that made it a bit easier, but it was still a big challenge. But that made it really interesting, making it more difficult for the driver somehow makes the whole thing better."

Conditions should be markedly warmer the next time an F1 car is in action on Austrian soil, though the scenery will be equally as breathtaking. The Formula 1 Grosser Preis von Osterreich 2016 takes place in picturesque Spielberg on July 01-03. To buy tickets click here.