Max Verstappen sees red in Spa battle to deliberately take out rival driver

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen takes out rival in sim race at Spa-Francorchamps. July 2023.

Max Verstappen takes out rival in sim race at Spa-Francorchamps. July 2023.

Max Verstappen decided to retaliate against an online sim racing rival during the Golden Toast Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

The two-time F1 World Champion frequently spends his downtime taking part in online sim racing events and put his name down for the iRacing-hosted Golden Toast GP – a three-hour event using GT3 cars.

Verstappen took pole position for the race, but was involved in a dramatic incident near half-distance that resulted in the Dutch driver seeing red.

Max Verstappen responds after being hit from behind

With an hour and 50 minutes left in the race, Verstappen was in a gaggle of cars as they approached the La Source hairpin. Under braking, Verstappen was clouted from behind by German racer Sven-Ole Haase, resulting in Verstappen going slightly too deep and colliding with Team Redline team-mate Diogo Pinto – both spun out as a result.

But the drama didn’t end there, as Verstappen quickly gathered himself back up and returning to racing speed behind the same group of cars as they powered through Eau Rouge, Raidillon, and along the Kemmel Straight.

Approaching Les Combes, it was apparent Verstappen had something planned as he stormed through the escape area without having made any attempt at making the corners.

“Max Verstappen, I think, is making a statement,” said the official livestream commentator as he watched Verstappen cut the track.

“It’s going to be ugly, just give it a sec. Just wait, just wait, here we go.” recommends

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Verstappen latched in behind Haase in the braking zone for Bruxelles and didn’t attempt to brake, instead ramming into the back of his antagonist as both flew into the gravel and into the barriers.

“Sven Haase not the best friend of Max Verstappen after all that,” summed up the commentator.

Replays showed Haase had initially pushed Verstappen slightly wide through the first half of the Bus Stop chicane, with Verstappen responding by pushing Haase off the track on exit – moments before their more serious collision.

“I’m afraid Verstappen has overreacted horrendously to that”, said the commentator watching the replay, with the Dutch driver disqualified from the race seconds later as a consequence.

Check out the full video of Max Verstappen deliberately taking out his rival on track during the Golden Toast GP.

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