The Formula 1 season may be over but Max Verstappen is still running into drama on the track, in this case a virtual one, as he competed in the virtual Le Mans over the weekend.
Verstappen got behind the wheel for his Team Redline in the event, which first started back in 2010, motivated to atone for crashing out of the race last year.
The Red Bull star had spoken in the lead-up to the event about how important the race was to him but this year’s edition ended in disaster for Verstappen, who was left fuming.
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Once again Verstappen found himself leading the race before his screen went black, with the connection problems seeing him removed from the game and losing the lead as a result.
Even when Verstappen was up and running again he had dropped down to 17th place and lost a lap and a half but the drama was far from over for the Red Bull driver.
The connection issues persisted later in the race, with Team Redline and Verstappen deciding to withdraw as a result.
Speaking on his Twitch stream afterwards, Verstappen called the event a “clown show” and urged everyone listening to “uninstall the game”.
“They can’t even control their own game,” Verstappen said.
“This is already the third time this has happened to me, getting kicked off the game while doing this race. It’s also the last time I’m ever participating, because what’s the point?
“You prepare for five months to try to win this championship, you’re leading the championship, you’re trying to win this race that you’ve been preparing for for two months, and they handle it like this.
“There have been two red flags, they cancelled the rain, because probably that’s already a big influence, and people are still getting disconnected, and at one point we were also hit by it, and they’re just not dealing with it, because they need even more people to disconnect.
“Honestly, it’s a joke. You cannot call this an event. [It’s a] clown show.”
Verstappen had told The Washington Post previously that winning virtual Le Mans was “very important” to him and his team and that it was a “very fun race”.
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That, of course, was on the case this year as Verstappen declared he would never participate in the game again after the latest dramas.
“It’s a disgrace for all the effort we have put in as a team,” he added.
“I really hope the organisers consider where they put this race going forward because on this platform it’s not going to work.
“It’s game over. I think I have more chance if I go to Vegas and go to the casino, I have more chance to win. I think I’m going to uninstall the game. That’s nice… frees up a bit of space on the PC anyway. And I really hope everyone uninstalls the game.”
Verstappen later doubled down on his criticism, writing on Discord that it was a “disaster”.
“I’m going to write this once, it might get deleted but who cares,” Verstappen posted.
“After five months of prep to fight for a title, around two months of prep for Le Mans, this is what we get.
“This was a disgrace to the sim racing community and to all big brands and drivers involved. Big stutters all race, red flags due to [cyber] attacks you say, but then again people disconnecting some get their laps back, some don’t because of the stupid four car rule.
“How can you even rely on rules when you can’t even control your own s**t server? This is not the first time we do this. I have literally been disconnected three out of four times. You might think after the first or second time, you learn but this is just a disaster.”
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