Romain Grosjean has been criticised for his praise of the 2023 Virtual Le Mans event which was littered with technical issues and saw Max Verstappen disconnected while leading the race.
The former Formula 1 racer was quick to defend the organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual endurance race, which took place at the weekend. That was despite a swathe of technical issues which saw several racers disconnected mid-race, including Verstappen.
Grosjean, who serves as a technical adviser to organiser Motorsport Games, heaped praise upon the event after its conclusion. He declared on social media that he "had a lot of fun" and thanked the organiser for the event, even if he did concede there were a "few bits and pieces to improve".
But that appeared to be something of an understatement considering how many issues there were. Verstappen's was particularly costly as his Team Redline was winning at the time he suffered connectivity issues and made it very clear on the live stream that he was unhappy.
"This is the last time I'm ever participating because what's the point?" the F1 champion fumed. "You prepare for five months to try and win this championship, you are leading the championship, you try to win this race which you have prepared for two months and they handle it like this.
"Honestly, it is a joke. You cannot even call this an event. It's a clown show. That's why it's better to retire the car because driving around in P15 for six hours makes no sense for everyone. It's a disgrace for all the effort we have put in as a team."
Responding to one critical comment on social media, Grosjean likened a disconnection to "an engine failure or mechanical issue in real life". But the Frenchman was soon panned for that point of view by many who disagreed.
They included endurance champion Brad Philpot, who responded: "The teams and manufacturers involved have control over that to a large degree. The problems we are highlighting in this race are entirely out of the competitors' control and happen every single year.
"The engine failure analogy fails on a number of levels. If your own computer fails – that's similar to an engine failure. But the server disconnecting you is more like race control having a random shut-off switch built into every car that gets deployed at random."