FORMULA One’s digital race series, which emerged during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, returns for a three instalment championship series, acting as a preface to the season.
Haas driver Enzo Fittipaldi took race honours after a nail-biting final lap brawl with Ferrari Driver Academy driver Arthur Leclerc, brother of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc. Enzo’s brother Pietro Fittipaldi, who contended for Haas towards the conclusion of the 2020 F1 season, finished in a respectable fifth.
Williams duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi had hopes to impress in the days leading up to the race. Fans were shocked by the sudden drop out of Russell, and subsequent underwhelming performance of teammate Latifi who finished the race a measly 10th.
F1 reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes) and Alex Albon (Red Bull) became race favourites following Russell’s decision to abandon the race. The pair finished second and fourth respectively, with Albon surging through the field from 18th place after technical difficulties after the qualifying sprint.
This year’s Virtual Grand Prix championship features the team’s talented F1 Esports Pro Series drivers. The result of the sprint race, in which the F1 pro drivers will race for their respective teams, decides the starting grid for the feature race. Where the teams’ pairings, made up of motorsport stars, sporting personalities and celebrities, will be asked to drive to the track and get ready to race.
After the first race at the virtual hills of the Red Bull Ring (Austria), Silverstone (United Kingdom) and Interlagos (Brazil) will serve as hosts to upcoming rounds of the virtual grand prix. Round two and three of the championship will be featured on the 7th and 14th of February.