Look, we all get frustrated by slower traffic in sim races, but this video below is a perfect example of how not to respond as demonstrated by Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen.
Verstappen was spotted in an orange car on iRacing during a Brands Hatch Formula 3 practice session by Twitch streamer MrGit. He’s wicked fast around the circuit, just as you’d expect an F1 driver who also loves sim racing to be.
The only problem is, Verstappen came up a bit too fast on the slower-moving No. 7 of David Minton, which was right on the racing line during Verstappen’s flying lap. The two cars appear to touch when Verstappen was trying to pass, causing Verstappen to spin and Minton to go off on the grass.
That’s all understandable, but then Verstappen intentionally turns into Minton’s car as both cars returned to the circuit. Verstappen gets reset back to the pit lane and then continues with his drive.
While this may sound like all fun and games, anyone who’s ever incurred the wrath of iRacing fans knows it’s the utmost of serious business. The game prides itself on ultra-realistic scans made of race tracks in the game, and it’s not cheap to subscribe to it, either. Drivers at all levels use it to hone their skills, including a few who have turned success in iRacing into a pro driving career.
As such, iRacing has strict conduct rules that try to prevent retaliatory crashes from happening during racing, which it enforces fairly aggressively, even for Red Bull-backed pro drivers. Ex-Toro Rosso F1 driver and Global Rallycross champion Scott Speed was infamously suspended from iRacing over intentional contact, all while he was acting as somewhat of an ambassador for iRacing thanks to a partnership they made to feature Global Rallycross cars in the game.
Since this was just a practice session and not part of a pattern of retaliatory contact from Max, WTF1 writes that it will be unlikely that any consequences will come from Max’s seemingly one-off hit. An iRacing representative who spoke with The Drive confirmed that their sporting code is in force even during practice sessions, but it would ultimately rely on a protest being filed against Verstappen. The outcome of a protest ranges from a suspension like Speed’s all the way down to a note in the file, or a coaching session. That being said, that outcome would be between iRacing and the driver—and not made public.
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