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Verstappen gets toughened up for 2018

Max Verstappen hits the gym.

© Twitter.com / @Max33Verstappen

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen looked quite the picture as he hit the gym this week.

The 20-year-old was on the ski slopes over the Christmas and New year holidays. But there's only so much preparation you can do for Formula 1 while on the piste.

So this week it was back to the off-season 'office', and some proper work in the gym. In particular, it's the neck muscles that require a lot of work to maintain while away from the race track.

You can see Verstappen using a weight-loaded strap around his head to simulate the G-forces that drivers experience during a Grand Prix.

Even the fittest drivers can struggle to keep their heads up during some of the longest, fastest races on the Formula 1 calendar. The sooner they start getting their neck muscles into shape for 2018 the better.

The first test of the new 2018 cars takes place at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on February 26 - March 1. It's followed by a second pre-season test at the same venue a week later. The first race of the season is the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25.

Meanwhile, top marks to Verstappen's photographer for selecting a mean and moody monochrome effect for the picture!

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