Formula One drivers race as Aussie Surf Lifesavers on a Melbourne beach

May 2, 2024
Kilian Hamlin

Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez take the real win in Melbourne at the (Un)serious Race Series

Melbourne, Australia (27th March, 2024) Max Verstappen, Sergio (Checo) Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda went head-to-head in an Aussie surf lifesaver challenge, but it was Oracle Red Bull Racing who ultimately won, despite the drama of the final race results.

Here is all you need to know:

The lifeguard Grand Prix race took place on the sand in Melbourne, swapping the Albert Park track for Hampton beach and being hosted by local Red Bull Athletes, Olympic snowboarder Scotty James and world number one surfer Molly Picklum.

Smiles and laughs kicked off the competition, but the competitive nature of the drivers was clear from challenge one with different strategies and techniques being tested. Racing the Can-Am Commander down the beach, teams had to reverse and then attach the Sea-Doo RXT-X with their team of Lifesaving pit crew to support.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez 2

Challenge: the beach sprint – Max and Checo race to victory

Coming to the first challenge with confidence, Daniel Ricciardo said: “The first thought that I had when I saw this was familiarity. I do happen to have all of this stuff back at my farm and I do have couple of Sea-Doos as well. So I thought I’d have an edge on the competition.”

Whilst Yuki and Daniel put in a valiant effort, it was Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez who delivered the victory. This set them at an advantage in pole position for the Final Race.

“I have done quite a bit of driving in the desert and it’s always a lot of fun,” said Max Verstappen after the race with his teammate Checo, highlighting the skill needed to drive in the conditions. “It’s very slippery, it’s like driving on ice pretty much.”

Despite all the racing, the highlight of the Beach sprint was Yuki entertaining himself by jumping on the back of the jet ski whilst Daniel was running to complete the challenge and put the yellow and red safety flags in place.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez

The final race: drama & stewards’ decision

In the head-to-head race the teams made their way through the slalom course, navigating through the flags. Once there, the challenge was to collect all rescue items before racing back to the finish line.

Zig-zagging through the course both teams were neck to neck before reaching the section to fill the beach buggies with rescue items. Daniel was first to jump out, filling the Visa Cash App RB Can-Am whilst Yuki jumped back in to wait. Over at Oracle Red Bull Racing, Max and Checo were working in unison, filling the buggy together quickly.

Yuki Tsunoda unveiled that the team had home advantage for the challenge with Daniel’s experience on the buggy. “It was very slippery but at the same time, Daniel knew a little trick on how to drive it fast [in these conditions]. We were able to maximize our performance and it was pretty cool.”

Daniel and Yuki were first to race back to the finish line and cross first, but a time violation was eventually handed out from the stewards and Visa Cash App RB were disqualified due to not collecting all of their beach rescue items. Oracle Red Bull Racing secured the ultimate victory.

The surf lifesavers of Australia, patrol beaches and provide essential emergency and safety services to the beachgoing public, taking on the challenging Australian conditions. Throughout the year, they rescue people from the ocean with Sea-Doos and patrol the beach in their Can- Am Off-Road vehicles carrying essential lifesaving equipment.

The fifth (Un)series Race Series unfolded in typical lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek style. Returning from last year, the friendly – but ultimately somewhat competitive – series has kept the drivers on their toes and challenged them in unfamiliar vehicles and terrain: from the waterways of Miami in mini jet boats, to the Erzberg iron mine of Austria in 500 horsepower mega trucks, from Kei trucks in a Japanese-style gameshow to Renegade Hovercrafts in the Nevada desert.

Watch the action from Oracle Red Bull Racing and Visa Cash App RB HERE