Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has responded to Max Verstappen’s criticism of the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans event, which was marred by technical issues.
The online race took place last weekend, with Max Verstappen and Team Redline in attendance.
However, the race was forced to be red-flagged twice due to technical issues that were blamed on a security breach.
Connection problems saw the two-time F1 champion removed for a short period of time, which dropped him to 17th place after holding the lead early on.
After another connection problem hit, Verstappen quit the race and labelled it a “clown show”.
Taking to Twitter, Grosjean said in response to criticism of the event: “What about when you have an engine failure or mechanical in real life, isn’t it the same…?”
In a separate message, Grosjean said: “Sim racing is super competitive and seeing one of the biggest race in the world being done on [a] sim is awesome. Yes, few bits and pieces to improve, but isn’t that just like everywhere else?”
Verstappen’s comments were further criticised by commentator Ben Constanduros, who also used social media to express his disappointment with the Dutchman’s comments.
“If it’s a clown show, that makes me and my hard working dedicated friends, clowns.
“Usually after a 24hr race I am tired but today has been an ugly, exhausting display of the toxic side of Sim Racing and social media,” he said. “I am proud of what the Le Mans Virtual Team has achieved.
“Both today and the incredible achievements from the first 2 events. (2022 ran without server issues remember.)
“Yes it didn’t go Max’s way today, he was unlucky to be disconnected like a few other drivers. The rest carried on, one of which won GTE. That is racing.
“But calling other humans out so strongly and feeding the community with negativity when in such an influential position was not wise and only fuels the toxicity in the community which only harms the Sim Racing world as [a] whole.”
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