Current Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has been denied a Mercedes-AMG GT rental car from Sixt during a recent holiday to Portugal as he’s too young.
As reported by The Sun, the 26-year-old Dutch racing driver was denied the high-performance rental car as the company’s insurance policy requires drivers to be at least 30 years old.
Mr Vestappen flew into Algarve, Portugal last Monday with family and friends and had rented around 20 cars from Sixt at Faro Airport.
The party had also booked the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve racing circuit for two days.
“Max and the group went to Portugal for a fun racing trip and had booked the cars they wanted,” said an unnamed source to The Sun.
“When they got to the airport, Max was shocked when he was told he wasn’t allowed to drive the Mercedes he wanted.”
“He’s a seasoned F1 driver who’s used to handling powerful cars, so it’s quite astonishing to think he wasn’t allowed to get behind the wheel of this one — but those are the rules, so he abided by them.”
“The employees of our franchise partner in Portugal have only followed the rules that arise for insurance reasons,” said a Sixt spokesperson to The Sun.
“In order to find a customer-friendly solution on site, Mr Verstappen was provided with another premium vehicle.”
“However, there can be special circumstances that justify a deviation from rules. This is such a case.
“We apologise to Mr Verstappen. He can rent the car he wants from us at any time.
“There is of course no doubt at all about his driving skills and his experience with powerful cars.”
Mr Vestappen ended up taking a BMW 5 Series, though his manager Raymond Vermeulen drove the Mercedes-AMG GT.
Max Verstappen has won the last three Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships. He has raced for the Red Bull Racing team since 2016.