Why Does Max Verstappen Know All About Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 Chevy in the Cup Series?

The NASCAR Cup Series and Formula 1 racing go head-to-head on TV during occasional Sundays, but they don’t cross paths in person, even on the rare weekends when the open-wheel circuit comes to the U.S. However, that hasn’t stopped Max Verstappen from taking an interest in Daniel Suarez’s weekly results.

The year has been a success for Daniel Suarez and Max Verstappen

Drivers Daniel Suarez of NASCAR and Max Verstappen of Formula 1. | Getty Images
Drivers Daniel Suarez of NASCAR and Max Verstappen of Formula 1. | Getty Images

The 2022 season is coming along quite nicely for drivers Daniel Suarez and Max Verstappen in two distinctly different racing series.

Suarez, who is in his sixth full season in the NASCAR Cup Series, stands 15th in points and registered his first career victory by holding off Chris Buescher and Michael McDowell at Sonoma in mid-June. He’ll need to keep grinding out points to keep Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe behind him as a safety net, but Suarez is positioned to qualify for the playoffs for the first time.

Meanwhile, Verstappen is halfway to his second straight World Drivers’ Championship in Formula 1. Eleven races into the 22-event schedule, Verstappen has won six times in the Red Bull Racing car. That has allowed him to fashion a 208-170 lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Daniel Suarez and Max Verstappen are dating sisters

Daniel Suarez in Mexican. Max Verstappen is Dutch. Both drivers are dating women of Brazilian descent, and they happen to be sisters and have racing in their bloodlines. Suarez’s longtime girlfriend is Julia Piquet, while Verstappen is dating Kelly Piquet.

Their father is none other than iconic Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet, who earned the Formula 1 championship three times from 1981-88. He rolled up 23 race victories before retiring in 1991.

Understandably then, the sisters have created a connection between Suarez, 30, and Verstappen, 24. Suarez spent some time in South Florida when Formula 1 made its Miami debut in May, and he got to know Verstappen better.

“He’s been very successful and he’s very smart,” Suarez told The Athletic. “Especially for his age, he’s extremely smart, very focused, very calm. Which I’m not surprised. I mean, he’s been in Formula 1 already for seven years or so. And he shows that. He shows how mature, smart, and calm he is.”

Max Verstappen keeps track of his friend’s results

It was inevitable that the drivers would sit down and start discussing their respective race circuits after meeting. But Daniel Suarez says Max Verstappen already knew about his No. 99 Chevy and NASCAR.

“He enjoys it, and he thinks it’s very crazy and it’s a lot of fun to watch,” Suarez said. “So, now he follows a little bit more, paying a little more attention to the ’99.’ It’s fun (to see) he’s doing everything he’s doing in Formula 1 and being very, very successful, I’m doing my thing in NASCAR, and once in a while, maybe in the offseason, we can get together and have a little fun outside of racing.”

All stats courtesy of Racing Reference.

Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Got a question or observation about racing? Sportscasting’s John Moriello does a mailbag column each Friday. Write to him at JohnM@Sportscasting.com.

RELATED: Daniel Suarez’s NASCAR Fan Club Shrinks by 2: ‘All He Had to Do Was Turn Left’