‘Clown show’ – Verstappen vents as server disconnect steals win 18 hours into virtual race

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Max Verstappen has labelled a 24-hour simulation race as ‘a clown show’ after a win was stolen from his team by a server disconnect, 18 hours into the event.

The reigning Formula 1 world champion said he spent five months practising to win the online championship, only for ‘incompetence’ to rob his team of victory.

Verstappen was fuming after retiring from the event

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Verstappen was fuming after retiring from the event

And voiced his anger on Twitch

team redline

And voiced his anger on Twitch

Competing in the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hour event for the #1 Team Redline, the Red Bull driver and three other teammates contended the lengthy race, and were leading.

However, Motorsport Games’ rFactor 2 platform experienced a number of disconnects on Saturday, in what they called a ‘security breach’ on the server.

Verstappen’s team dropped down to 15th after the disconnect, and threw in the towel, retiring from the event with six hours left to go.

Speaking on his team’s Twitch stream, he said: “They call it ‘amazingly bad luck’, well, this is just incompetence.

“They can’t even control their own game, this is already the third time this happened to me now that I get kicked off the game while doing this race so this is the last time I’m participating.

“What’s the point? You prepare for five months to win this championship, you’re leading the championship, you’re trying to win this race which you’ve prepared for two months and they handle it like this.

Verstappen pulled into the pits after seeing first place turn to 15th

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Verstappen pulled into the pits after seeing first place turn to 15th

Verstappen gets far more reliability from his real life Red Bull

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Verstappen gets far more reliability from his real life Red Bull


“There’s been two red flags and they blame it on – I don’t even know – ‘details on the server’ then they cancelled the rain because that’s probably already a big influence.

“Then people are still getting disconnected and now of course at one point we were also hit by it and then 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 – a clown show. That’s why it’s better to retire the car, because driving around in P15 for six hours makes no sense for everyone. Just a disgrace for all the effort we put in as a team.

“I really hope the organisers of today also consider where they put this race going forward, because on this platform it’s not going to work.”

“That’s it, game over.”

The Dutchman was livid

team redline

The Dutchman was livid

And will be glad to return to his Red Bull for the start of the season

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And will be glad to return to his Red Bull for the start of the season

Verstappen landed his second F1 world title last year ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with Red Bull experiencing one of their most dominant campaigns.

The 25-year-old may well go on to break a number of records, but has already signalled that he isn’t looking for too long a career in F1, unlike names such as Fernando Alonso competing into their 40s.

That could see his simulation racing come in handy, with Verstappen previously stating he admires endurance racing, and that would likely be his preference after F1.

“F1 is a lot of fun, and I’m having a lot of success at the moment but I want to do other things as well,” he said last year.

“I know my contract runs until 2028. I will be 31 at that time. I’m probably still going to be competitive for a few more years after that.

“But in those years, I also want to experience other things and just have a bit more fun with less pressure and less of a schedule.”

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