F1 Champion Max Verstappen Crashes In Virtual Car Race

·2 min read
Max Verstappen, draped in a flag, his hand on his head.
Max Verstappen, draped in a flag, his hand on his head.

While Red Bull’s Max Verstappen enjoyed a successful end to his actual racing season, when he claimed the F1 crown in controversial circumstances, his appearance over the weekend in a virtual Le Mans 24 hour race didn’t go quite so well.

As Autosport report, Verstappen took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual over the weekend, a video game car race that has grown out of the pandemic to attract some of the biggest names in motorsports, from F1 to F2, British GT, and more. What’s great about this though is that not everyone taking part is an actual professional race driver; there are plenty of esports racers involved as well, letting them test their skills alongside and against the best of the real deal.

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Having qualified in second place with Team Redline, it only took two corners for Verstappen to fight his way into the lead, a position you’d think one of the best drivers on the planet could hold onto, but in a race as long as this anything can happen, and seven hours into the race it had all gone wrong for the F1 champ.

Having just jumped back into the driver’s seat after a rest—in both the actual and virtual Le Mans, drivers take turns in the car over the race—Verstappen “took an aggressive line over the kerbs at the Ford chicane. The result was a spin and heavy contact with the barriers, ripping off two wheels.”

That crash didn’t just end Verstappen’s day but that of his team as well, handing victory in the LMP class (Le Mans Prototypes) to Realteam Hydrogen and drivers Felipe Drugovich (a Formula 2 driver), Oliver Rowland (Formula E), Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl (who are both esports racers).

The GTE class race, meanwhile, was won by BMW’s official esports racing team, with drivers Rudy van Buren, Lorenzo Colombo, Enzo Bonito, Kevin Siggy. If you want to check out some highlights, you’ll find them below: