Virtual Grand Prix fill the void for racing fans

by Pietro Arrigoni

Just like all sports around the world, Formula 1 racing saw its season get cut before it even began due to the Covid-19 outbreak, leaving millions of fans all around the world bitter, angry, sad. 

To compensate for the lack of action on the actual racing tracks, young drivers like Lando Norris (McLaren), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Alexander Albon (Red Bull Aston Martin), and George Russel (Williams) have decided to have races on the very realistic F1 2019 console game. 

The drivers began streaming their gaming online and it soon became very popular around the world. Formula 1 then decided to have actual coordinated and proper races on the game, which saw F1 drivers and many other stars joining up for the race. 

The first race of the virtual season took place in Australia, as the normal season would have, around Albert Park. Here, young Ferrari talent Charles Leclerc got pole position and then went on to win the race. 

Out of the six current F1 drivers who took place in the race, only Lando Norris missed out on the top 10. Arthur Leclerc, Charles’ younger brother, put in a great performance to take 4th place home. 

Two weeks after this race, fans around the world were once again excited to see what the lineup would be for the Chinese grand prix. The six current drivers, alongside many F2 drivers, a couple soccer stars (Ciro Immobile and Thibaut Courtois), and Mercedes’ and Haas’s reserve drivers battled for the victory in China. 

A race-long battle between Leclerc and Albon brought plenty of action in the top spots. In the midfield, F2 and F1 drivers battled for the points, while the soccer stars (rightfully) placed further back on the grid. 

After a fantastic battle with friend and rival Albon, Leclerc was able to make the winning move to take home back-to-back wins. The young Ferrari talent displaced discipline and aggression through the whole race, showing that his skills and determination are top notch. 

The rest of the podium consisted of Albon and Vandoorne, Mercedes’ reserve driver and former F1 driver. 

These virtual grand prix are fantastic for entertainment, great practice for the drivers, and a great way to keep the racing community together. As I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of these races, or at least I hope (big F1 fan), I wonder if someone is going to steal the lead from the blistering quick Charles Leclerc!


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