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Charles Leclerc Dominates Second Virtual Grand Prix!

April 6, 2020

Winner in Spa. Winner in Monza. Winner on his F1 Esports debut! Charles Leclerc dominated the second F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix around Albert Park in Melbourne, taking a decisive win for FDA Hublot Esports Team.

After starting from pole position, the Monegasque racer shot off into the distance and went un-challenged for the duration of the 29-lap race. His consistent lap times and near-faultless performance were made all the more impressive with the post-race revelation that he only started playing the game a week before the race.

His nearest challenger was Renault Academy driver Christian Lundgaard – who had set the fastest time in Qualifying before a penalty demoted him to P6 on the grid. The Dane charged through the frontrunners to take second come the chequered flag. This makes it two podiums in a row for Renault Sport Team Vitality, after Guanyu Zhou’s impressive win at the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix a fortnight earlier.

George Russell crossed the line third to complete a trio of debutants on the podium – but it almost didn’t happen. Towards the end of the race, the Williams driver spun coming into the final sequence of corners. He recovered, but tagged hard-charging Arthur Leclerc in the process, spinning the younger Leclerc brother around.

Leclerc Junior crossed the line barely a second behind Russell, so it was an impressive comeback to say the least, especially after an earlier spin after contact with Lundgaard. Antonio Giovinazzi put in a solid performance to finish fifth, ahead of Mercedes Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne. Louis Deletraz grabbed P7, with Alex Albon recovering to eighth after a heavy crash on the first lap.

Shed-dwelling superstar Jimmy Broadbent broke the chain of professional racers to finish a spirited ninth, with Nicholas Latifi rounding out the top 10.

Jenson Button won the Australian Grand Prix three times in four years between 2009-12, but he was unable to make the points this time round, heading home P11. Then followed Luca Salvadori, Nunzio Todisco, Pietro Fittipaldi, Anthony Davidson, Andre Heimgartner and Johnny Herbert. Cricketing royalty Ben Stokes finished 18th, but showed incredible character having only picked up the game a few days prior.

PRO EXHIBITION

The race was followed by the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race, giving the stars of the F1 Esports Pro Series their time in the limelight. This 25% race shared a feature with the Virtual Grand Prix – a dominant winner.

After coming close to the title in 2019, Frede Rasmussen was on hand to convert pole position into a faultless victory for Red Bull Racing Esports, chased to the line by FDA Hublot Esports Team’s David Tonizza. Floris Wijers meanwhile brought his digitally-constructed Haas home in third.

UP NEXT…

Two enthralling races with buckets of action. What’s not to love?! Our next Virtual Grand Prix takes us to Shanghai International Circuit, home of the Chinese Grand Prix, on Sunday April 19. Keep your eyes on social media and right here on the F1 Esports site to get a first look at the driver line-up as we get it.

Until then, stay safe, stay home, and we’ll see you soon! #RaceAtHome




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