Team Redline boss: Max Verstappen’s PC not to blame for connection issues

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, looking serious. Singapore, September 2022. Credit: Alamy
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, looking serious. Singapore, September 2022. Credit: Alamy

Team Redline have doubled down on Max Verstappen’s Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans complaint after a disconnection debacle cost them the race. 

The double Formula 1 champion labelled the event a “clown show” and urged viewers to “uninstall the game” after Redline’s No.1 car was disconnected while leading the race, with under six hours remaining.

Upon rejoining the rFactor 2 servers, which suffered a security breach mid-race and caused two red flags, Verstappen and Co had dropped to 15th as the organisers decided against reinstating their lost laps.

That’s when Verstappen declared “game over,” which the commentators labelled a “hissy fit.”

Redline director Atze Kerkhof hit back at claims Verstappen’s own connection was to blame, telling RacingNews365:”He lost the connection at exactly the same time as another driver. When that happens within milliseconds of each other, you know it’s not Verstappen’s PC, but the server.

“We won’t see him here again. A lot has to happen if we want to see Max back on rFactor.

“This will have been a wake-up call for them. This was very bad publicity in a race where all eyes were on it because Max was competing. And then to make such a fool of yourself, they have themselves to thank for that.”

There was a big consolation for Redline as their No.2 car celebrated victory, with a further P2 in the GTE classification.

“Those two teams have shown so much backbone from a hopeless position,” he added.

“But it is now the fourth time in a row that we dropped out in leading position. Once it was due to our own driver error, all three other times it was due to server problems. That is unacceptable. That is disrespectful.

“For Max, only the competition counts, he doesn’t do this for the money. He sets aside a lot of free time to help the team, but also to promote the race. As a two-time F1 champion, he was fully on board for this biggest ‘Race of the Year’.

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“And this event involves a large prize pool (€250,000), there are also a lot of drivers who rely on this prize money and who are simply victims. We are not the only ones who have been damaged, but we are perhaps a bit more vocal about this because we want to put pressure on it. Don’t forget that there is a decent entrance fee per team per car.”

Verstappen is a racing nut and certainly won’t be put-off by the incident long-term, though eRacing appears to have taken a damaging step backwards thanks to the Le Mans chaos.

The Team Redline chief believes Verstappen’s eRacing season is finished, as preparations for the 2023 F1 season accelerate. “His motivation may also have taken a hit,” Kerkhof admitted.

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