Two-time F1 World Champion Max Verstappen. Some may love him, some may hate him. (ed: You should not hate anyone tbh.)
The Dutch/Belgian racing driver has been a sim racer for over 10 years and is often considered to be one of the best in the world. As a member of the renowned Team Redline professional sim racing team, Max has won a number of prestigious sim racing events and championships.
Both in the real and virtual world, Max is without a doubt a true racing talent. However, his sportsmanship has been called into question on a few occasions during his career.
And so dit it once more today. During the Golden Toast GP iRacing GT3 event, Max Verstappen took the pole position and had a fair chance of winning the Spa-Francorchamps event. However, with an hour and 50 minutes left in the 3-hour race, Max Verstappen got hit in the back by German Sven-Ole Haase on the tricky La Source hairpin braking zone, making him touch team member Diogo Pinto after which they both spun out. At this point, it was clearly a racing incident.
But then V (for Vendetta) decided to take the law into his own hands and started chasing Sven-Ole Haase as a madman, not braking at the Kemmel Straight, going off-track to catch the German sim racer, deliberately ramming him out of the race. As expected, Max Verstappen got disqualified from the race for his totally unacceptable behavior.
While the incident itself is not that uncommon within the sim racing scene, and to some degree understandable, because I am sure we all lost our cool at some point in a race, it does surprise me how the official commentators instantly seemed to downplay what just happened.
Later on, when the incident was reported on various social media platforms, it was also clear that many sim racing community members seem to tolerate and even defend this kind of behavior when it’s done by a world-famous celebrity. Some even defended it by preaching the unmentionable… “It’s only a game” 🙂
Let’s be honest, if this sort of retaliation would have been done by uncle average, the community would have crucified the perpetrator.
So I guess sim racing is a spitting image of the real world after all.