février 21, 2024

Max Verstappen misses drivers end of season dinner, Daniel Ricciardo in photo

2 min read

As world champion, Max Verstappen must follow an unwritten rule at the Formula One driver’s end of season dinner, by footing the bill.

The only problem? Verstappen didn’t show up to the get together in Abu Dhabi.

The tradition invites all 20 drivers to share a meal and drinks at the end of the season, but Verstappen was not in attendance, according to a report in The Sun.

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But it wasn’t just Verstappen who was a notable absentee, with just 11 of 20 active drivers pictured in a photo shared to social media.

Attendees included Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, while Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso were not in attendance.

The famous F1 end of season dinner. Via Zhou Guanyu on Twitter. (Twitter)

Despite missing the snap, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were at the dinner.

Verstappen, who was also the 2022 champion, will not be in the good books with his fellow drivers after this year’s miss.

Last season, the 26-year-old didn’t even pay for the meal despite his champion status, with Lewis Hamilton reportedly footing the bill.

Ex-Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg explained the unwritten rule on who actually should pay.

« The hidden agreement usually is that the world champion pays, » Rosberg said on social media previously.

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Kelly Piquet pose for a photo after the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Getty)

In 2022, all 20 drivers attended the dinner to farewell retiring champion Sebastian Vettel, serving as a great way for the competitors to build relationships away from the cars and stress of their sport.

It was a rare occasion to see all 20 drivers in the same place as Pierre Gasly revealed on the Beyond The Grid podcast.

« I’ll remember that moment forever. It was the first time in five years we all got together, » Gasly said on the podcast in 2022.

« That’s what made it so authentic, and that’s probably one of the very few times you’ve seen the real side of people and drivers.

« You’ve always got closer relationships with certain drivers, but it’s almost like on that dinner, from the moment we closed the door, we all took our cap off our heads, and we’re like, ‘Okay, now, it’s just you get whatever you see.' »

As for Verstappen, his fellow drivers will keep a close eye on him next year in hopes he makes up the bill, irrespective of where he ranks come 2024’s end.

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