Max Verstappen has lost to Charles Leclerc ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, in an inaugural padel tournament consisting of athletes from across the world.
The high-profile tournament, which was held in Monte-Carlo, saw athletes from various sports come together to raise money for charity, with Leclerc having come out of the event victorious.
However, the Monegasque was partnered by former tennis Grand Slam winner Thomas Johansson, giving the 26-year-old a bit of an advantage.
Verstappen was partnered by friend and Andretti Formula E driver Norman Nato, who shared a photo of the quartet on Instagram.
“Great fun playing in the very first @alltime.mc padel tournament together with athletes from all different sports and backgrounds. A lot of fun and just a little bit of competition,” Nato wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of himself, Leclerc and Verstappen.
Leclerc was quick to comically comment, where he pointed out who won: “You forgot to mention that you lost in the final I think.”
Verstappen and Leclerc are known to play padel often, as are Alex Albon, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly supposedly.
Should the three-time World Champion win at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend, then he’d likely be able to accept being defeated by Leclerc in the padel competition.
Verstappen could break a sizeable record at the United States GP if he scores 22 points, which will see him eclipse his 2022 tally of 454, which is currently the most scored by any driver in an F1 season.
Should the 26-year-old win in Texas, then that would put him onto 15 wins for the year, which would also see him draw level with his record from last campaign of most wins in a single calendar.
Verstappen is expected to eclipse both records regardless of his performance at COTA, where he’s claimed victory the last two seasons.
The Red Bull driver and Lewis Hamilton have finished first and second at the United States Grand Prix the last two seasons, although McLaren are expected to be the Dutchman’s biggest threat this weekend.
This is largely because the Woking-based team have claimed back-to-back 2-3 finishes, highlighting their strong form.