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F1 champion Max Verstappen quits virtual Le Mans after branding it “clown show”

F1 champion Max Verstappen described a virtual Le Mans tournament as a “clown show” after technical issues caused him to disconnect.

24 Hours Of Le Mans Virtual was launched in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the real-world Le Mans.

The online tournament, which is run on the rFactor 2 racing simulator, features drivers from around the world competing remotely, and is designed to be as realistic as possible.

“We treat this like a real, live race,” Verstappen told The Washington Post. “We’re fine-tuning the car’s setup and testing it in the hottest and coldest conditions, in rainy and dry weather, and in both night and day. There are weeks of preparation that go into this, and a lot of people don’t realise that.”

However, the race didn’t go well for Verstappen as a series of technical issues caused multiple red flags and disconnections. The F1 champion was in first place when he was kicked from the server, prompting him to withdraw from the competition entirely.

“Look at this. They call it amazingly bad luck. This is just incompetence,” said Verstappen as he quit the game. “They can’t even control their own game. This is already the third time this happens to me now, that we get kicked off the game while doing this race.”

After the race, 24 Hours Of Le Mans Virtual executive producer Gérard Neveu appeared to blame the technical issues on possible DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks.

“It became clear within the first seven hours of the race that we had some serious server issues which led to us showing the red flag on the race twice,” Neveu said in an FAQ. “After some initial investigation, it seems that some race competitors accidentally shared to the public the IP addresses connecting them to the server, which is not supposed to happen.

“This put us in a weakened position, and we were subjected to some security breaches which caused the global disconnection of all competitors. It should never happen if the IP addresses are well protected.”

Suggesting that he wont be back for next year’s tournament, Verstappen said: “What’s the point? You prepare for five months to try and win this championship, you’re leading the championship, you’re trying to win this race which you prepared for two months, and they handle it like this. I mean there have been two red flags, they blame it on, I don’t even know what, people DDoSing the server… Honestly, it’s a joke. You cannot call this an event. It’s a clown show.”

In other gaming news, Games Done Quick’s first event of 2023 recently raised over £2.1million for charity Prevent Cancer Foundation.

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