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Russell Storms to Fourth Victory as Virtual Grand Prix series Concludes in Canada

June 15, 2020

Absolutely dominant. That’s the only way to describe George Russell’s performance in the Virtual Grand Prix series! The Williams ace notched his fourth and final victory at the curtain-closing race in Canada, in typically dominant fashion.

With on-track racing resuming on the weekend of July 3-5, the Virtual Canadian Grand Prix represented the final race in which global stars could rub shoulders and mix it up on track. With stars from F1, a variety of sports disciplines, and the world of music, there was plenty to keep an eye on.

GEORGE HITS A FOUR

Sunday’s race saw Russell compete in his seventh Virtual Grand Prix, taking pole ahead of Mercedes’ Esteban Gutierrez at the digital incarnation of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In truth, that was job done for Russell – his lead never looked under threat during the race, and his lead come the flag was around five seconds from Red Bull’s Alex Albon. Behind Albon, Gutierrez completed the podium, his fourth in a row. Renault Sport Academy pairing Caio Collet and Guanyu Zhou enjoyed a competitive race for the yellow squad, finishing fourth and sixth respectively. They were split by Ben Daly AKA Tiametmarduk, who took the fastest lap of the 35-lap race on his way to a superb fifth place.

Nicholas Latifi, Anthony Davidson, Callum Ilott and David Schumacher completed the points. The fourth and final F1 driver Pierre Gasly was unfortunately not classified, but after a mega stint in the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier in the day, he can be excused for a well-earned rest. His team mate, Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil, wound up P18 come the flag. Other notable finishers included speed skating gold medallist Ted-Jan Bloemen in P13, content creator Aarava in P16, and gold medal skier Jon Olsson in P19.

CLAY CLAIMS THE WIN

The F1 Esports Pro Exhibition also hosted its final round in Canada, with the stars of the F1 Esports Pro Series battling it out. It was the final opportunity for the drivers to prove why they should be signed by the official F1 teams in the 2020 Pro Draft, so everything was to play for.

Williams had yet another reason to celebrate, with new blood Shanaka Clay taking his first win on his very first appearance. He took a surprise pole in Qualifying ahead of Marcel Kiefer, with reigning champion David Tonizza all the way down in 17th.

The race brought with it rain, but Clay mastered the getaway to maintain the lead. Brendon Leigh was the hard-charger of the race. Starting fifth, he took P4 at Turn 1, strong-armed past Lucas Blakely for P2 on Lap 3, and then swooped past Kiefer for second on Lap 5. Leigh’s final target, Clay, seemed to have the measure of him, so Leigh opted to change to Intermediate tyres with just three laps remaining.

The huge gamble gave him a huge speed advantage, and he was easily able to overhaul Josh Idowu and Blakely to recover to third – but his last-lap pass attempt on Kiefer did not go to plan…

So Clay held on for a crushing first win, with Blakeley taking another podium in second, and Leigh just about recovered to P3 in perhaps the most action-packed end to a race yet in the Pro Exhbition series.

UP NEXT

And there you have it – both series are in the history books! We hope you’ve enjoyed the Virtual Grand Prix and Pro Exhibition races in these uncertain times. On-track racing is just around the corner, with the Austrian Grand Prix set for the weekend of 3-5 July.

In terms of Esports content, details of the Pro Draft will arrive in the coming weeks. We’re excited to pick the Pro Series back up and showcase the very best sim racers from around the world – so keep your eyes peeled for more news on social media and right here on the F1 Esports site.




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