Following his “petulant” sim racing rant last month, a respected Formula One analyst has urged Max Verstappen to show more dignity and decorum in his role as Formula One World Champion.
Verstappen is the reigning double World Champion in Formula One heading into the 2023 season, but he sparked controversy last month when he was disconnected while leading the virtual Le Mans online race.
The 25-year-old was accused of having a “hissy fit” after referring to the event as a “clown show” and urging other players to uninstall the game.
The incident occurred following a tense conclusion to Red Bull’s 2022 campaign, with Verstappen heard over team radio rebuking the pit wall at the end of the penultimate race in Brazil after refusing to swap places with teammate Sergio Perez.
Former Williams and Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor believes Verstappen should set a better example for fans in his role as Champion via his Twitch stream.
“It’s a little petulant, actually,” he said.
“He got a bit upset because some sim thing he was doing – a Le Mans race, I think – packed up before the end of the race.
“This is a double World Champion – who should be setting an example to the younger generation and the generation he’s in – who got annoyed about it as if technology failures never happen.
“Come on, I mean, come on. I’m a Max fan, but someone should be saying, ‘Max, Max, Max. Maintain your cool. Keep being yourself. ‘Don’t become a petulant twit; that’s ridiculous.’
“A World Champion must maintain a certain level of decorum and dignity, and must set an example of not becoming angry, upset, or frustrated over matters other than those pertaining to his own world – the cockpit in which he races and the car in which he drives.
“However, becoming irritated when sim games go wrong is petulant.
“I’ve used the word three times now, and I’m not sorry.”
Verstappen has long been known to be a huge fan of sim racing, and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko recently revealed that the World Champion is even planning to install a simulator in his private jet.