British touring car racer Bradley Philpot took a swipe at Max Verstappen and his maturity after instigating a deliberate virtual racing collision.
With the Formula 1 world enjoying a free weekend before the season resumes in Hungary, Verstappen could be found in his familiar habitat of sim racing as he signed up for the iRacing-hosted Golden Toast GP – a three-hour event using GT3 cars. That outing though met a controversial end.
After Verstappen was punted into Team Redline team-mate Diogo Pinto by German racer Sven-Ole Haase, sending them both into a spin, Verstappen would re-gather himself and cut the escape road on the approach to Les Combes, slotting back in behind Haase in the braking zone for Bruxelles and taking them both off into the barriers.
Verstappen was disqualified from the event shortly after for his actions, which also served as motive for Philpot, a multi-time champ on the touring car scene, to aim a sarcastic dig at the two-time Formula 1 World Champion.
“Max has really matured as a driver,” Philpot tweeted.
Unsurprisingly, that tweet drew plenty of replies from fellow Twitter users, many of whom not taking too kindly to Philpot’s words on Verstappen.
The Brit then would expand on his displeasure regarding Verstappen’s actions, referencing a rant from the Dutchman after server issues disconnected him from the latest virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“For all the “it’s only a video game” responses – you’re (sort of) right,” Philpot responded. “It’s a professionally organised sim racing competition that drivers have prepared for weeks for. But why do you think that makes it better?
“Why does Max care enough to retaliate if it’s “just a game” to him?
“That actually makes it worse. He shouldn’t care but he clearly does.”
In a further post on the matter, Philpot gave a more critical take on Verstappen’s behaviour and the attitude of his fans, telling them to “have better heroes”.
He posted: “This is my last tweet on this subject, but for all the Max fans defending his retaliation punt because “the other guy hit Max’s team-mate first”:
“You hold your World Champion to the same standards of behaviour as a five-year-old child and that’s really weird.
“Have better heroes. Aspire to be better. Raise the standards you expect from professional sports people. You’re embarrassing.”
But when it comes to the standard of Verstappen’s racing in Formula 1, that currently is at a level which no rival can match, the Dutchman on a streak of six victories in a row after his latest triumph at the British Grand Prix.
Heading into the Hungarian GP, his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship stands at 99 points over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.