Max Verstappen was accused of throwing a “hissy fit” after he decided not to re-join the Virtual Le Mans race following a disconnection to the online server.
The two-time World Champion and his Team Redline outfit were leading and in control of the race, that was until the Dutchman became one of many drivers to suffer from a disconnection to the server.
The race event was also subject to suspected DDOS attacks during the 24 hours of running, resulting in red flags adding to chaos caused by technical issues.
Not prepared to re-join the race 2-3 laps down, Verstappen declared “game over” and made his feelings very clear both via his online stream and via the Discord platform.
But, while many have sympathise with the situation Verstappen and his team-mates found themselves, others were not so understanding.
During the continued coverage of the live stream, one of the commentators said: “The No.2 Team Redline machine is in the lead…the No.1 [car] has bailed out of the race despite leading the Championship.
“Max Verstappen threw a hissy fit and decided to retire.”
PlanetF1.com recommended reading
Mark Webber: Max Verstappen’s Mercedes W14 prediction a ‘very polite’ one
Which drivers are paid the most? F1, IndyCar and NASCAR salaries revealed
Is Netflix’s Drive to Survive nearing the end of the road?
The ‘hissy fit’ (in the eyes of some), was Verstappen calling out the organisers of the race, labelling the event as a “clown show”.
“They call it amazingly bad luck…well this is just incompetence,” Verstappen said.
“They can’t even control their own game. This the third time already that has happened to me now, being kicked off the game while doing this race.
“This is also the last time ever because what’s the point? You prepare for five months to try and win this Championship, you are leading the Championship, you try to win this race which you have prepared for for two months and they handle it like this.
“Honestly, it is a joke. You cannot even call it an event. It’s 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. It’s a disgrace with all the effort we have put in as a team.
“I really hope the organisers consider where they put this game going forward because on this platform it’s not going to work.
“It’s game over. I think I have more chance if I just go to Vegas and the casino…I would 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 would then go on to double down on the criticism by posting a message on Discord.
“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.
“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.”
“The Le Mans organisation should really look at what they want moving forward because doing [it] on this platform was just a clown show.
“I’m never competing again and that’s all down to your (in)competence. I hope many people will follow my lead and we can build something nice somewhere else. Because all of us teams, brands and drivers deserve better.”
Sympathy for Max Verstappen, who has every right to be angry
Max Verstappen being disconnected from a major online race whilst leading will have had his detractors jumping for joy over the weekend but, biases aside, there has to be some sympathy for the two-time World Champion.
Imagine putting months of your life into something, whether that’s a work project or a hobby, and then having it ripped away from you by something that was outside of your control.
That’s exactly what happened to Verstappen and you would not expect anyone else to be happy in that situation either.
Verstappen raised valid points and was far from foaming at the mouth when saying them. For it to be labelled as a “hissy fit” is not fair on him or his team-mates.
Having Verstappen racing in your series would be a dream scenario for all eSport platforms, but it’s hard to imagine him ever coming back to racing in this particular one ever again.