Max Verstappen’s chances off a Le Mans victory this Summer were instantly wiped out after a tenth hour incident.
Having led much of Saturday afternoon’s running, the #20 Team Redline car of Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Atze Kerkhof and Greger Huttu was struck down early into the night after encountering technical issues with the rFactor 2 simulator.
It is understood that the Oreca LMP2 car was unexpectedly taken over by AI control momentarily causing a crash between Verstappen and a GTE car that was to be put another lap behind the front-runners. The crash caused significant damage to the Redline entry which speared off course, collecting an outside barrier entering the famed Porsche Curves.
Verstappen and co were forced into a lengthy pitstop dropping the car out of the top ten with Verstappen swapping out for simracer Kerkhof.
The Red Bull driver went on to let out his anger with an explicit rant over the rFactor 2 title: “What a f*cking joke this is. I’m in the pits, but the car is completely broken. rFactor can f*ck off”
The #20 Redline entry was officially retired from the event shortly after when Kerkhof also found trouble. A red flag with four and a half hours to go allowed the team to hit the track again at the back of the LMP field, some 18 laps off the lead.
Criticism isn’t new for rFactor. Despite frequent lauding of it’s handling model and physics, the title has been branded outdated by many. It’s online services struggle when it comes to large scale events with two red flags thrown during the 24 Hours of Le Mans virtual for server maintenance.