Russell dominates for third consecutive Virtual Grand Prix win


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George Russell extended his run of victories in Formula 1’s Virtual Grand Prix series with a consummate victory around the Baku City Circuit.

The Williams driver took pole position with a lap which put him on a par with some of the professional esports drivers. He shared the front row of the grid with Alexander Albon, and kept his Red Bull rival in check throughout proceedings.

Albon ducked into the pits one lap before Russell and chanced a switch to the hard tyre compound. Russell opted for mediums, and emerged ahead of his team mate Nicholas Latifi, who had Albon in his mirrors. Albon soon worked his way past Latifi, who was yet to pit, but by the time he had done so Russell was three seconds up the road.

As the laps worse down Russell became increasingly concerned the degradation would bring his rival within range. But Albon was already starting to struggle with fuel use. Then, with a handful of laps remaining, he incurred a time penalty for track limits violations.

The outcome of the race was no longer realistically going to go any other way from that point on. Despite his penalty, Albon had more than enough time in hand over third-placed Esteban Gutierrez.

Lando Norris took his best finish in the series so far with fourth, while Oscar Piastri performed superbly on his debut in the series to finish fifth.

Pietro Fittipaldi came sixth despite being assaulted by his cousin Enzo going into turn one at the start, triggering a collision which also involved Piastri. Latifi, Ben Daly, Anthony Davidson and Jimmy Broadbent completed the top 10.

Charles Leclerc had a poor event. Having qualified only 10th he was involved in several first-lap incidents and finished 14th behind Thibaut Courtois, Pierre Gasly and the other Ferrari of Enzo Fittipaldi.

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1George RussellWilliams
2Alexander AlbonRed Bull
3Louis DeletrazHaas
4Esteban GutierrezMercedes
5Oscar PiastriRenault
6Pietro FittipaldiHaas
7Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
8Enzo FittipaldiFerrari
9Lando NorrisMcLaren
10Charles LeclercFerrari
11Nicholas LatifiWilliams
12Ben DalyMcLaren
13Anthony DavidsonMercedes
14Thibaut CourtoisAlfa Romeo
15Gianluigi DonnarummaAlphaTauri
16Sergio PerezRacing Point
17Aymeric LaporteRenault
18Jimmy BroadbentRacing Point
19Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo
20Matthias WalknerRed Bull


1George RussellWilliams
2Alexander AlbonRed Bull
3Esteban GutierrezMercedes
4Lando NorrisMcLaren
5Oscar PiastriRenault
6Pietro FittipaldiHaas
7Nicholas LatifiWilliams
8Ben DalyMcLaren
9Anthony DavidsonMercedes
10Jimmy BroadbentRacing Point
11Thibaut CourtoisAlfa Romeo
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri
13Enzo FittipaldiFerrari
14Charles LeclercFerrari
15Sergio PerezRacing Point
16Gianluigi DonnarummaAlphaTauri
17Louis DeletrazHaas
18Aymeric LaporteRenault

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    20 comments on “Russell dominates for third consecutive Virtual Grand Prix win”

      1. Yeah that Russell boi is our boi gonna be champion material innit Brits!

    1. I keep my line that the F1 game is totally irrelevant compared to real F1, and still my suspicion is growing, that Russell might really be something else (I’ll admit that some part of me wants this to be true only to shed a better light on Kubica)

      1. Russell might be doing this to get himself in the spotlight. He knows that both Mercedes drivers are out of contract this year, and I am guessing he is trying to put himself into consideration, even though this game is just a virtual world, whose mechanics and physics do not perfectly match to real life, it is still an impressive performance for 3 races, and two of those on tracks which are easy to crash. Car performance has been equal, so the driver has had to make the difference. He also did benefitted using the correct strategies.

        I hope Mercedes keep him, and that he does not end up like Wehrlein.

    2. So he’s good at a computer game. I used to be awesome at Donkey Kong, and was unbeaten during one summer. Where’s the article about that?

      1. Hahaha! :)

      2. @sham, that’s on on their historical summer streaks series.

      3. The argument keeps going that sim racing has no g forces and g forces are what you need to feel the road. So if a sim racer can beat a real racer without feeling the road, then good luck beating them once they can feel the road.

    3. Real men, really drive, real cars.

      1. I’m fairly sure they’re real men, I’ve not met them, but I think they are, unless AI has really moved on.

      2. There are some really dumb comments on this site.

    4. ”professional esports drivers”
      – But are they literally ‘professionals’ as in that they’d earn money for this stuff or is it just a reference for being experts in this form of gaming? Just to clarify.

      1. Yeah, people make money from this.

      2. I think I saw that the pro sim winner got $10,000. The pros get more I think, but everything they win goes to charity.

        1. Graham (@guitargraham)
          8th June 2020, 10:31

          when sony held the very first playstation F1 event in 2002 i was world ranked 12 and finished 2 in uk. i won one (yes ONE!) of jenson Button’s gloves. times have changed! (the winner got to represent uk in world championships that were to have been held a couple of weeks later at the us grand prix at indy. unfortunately in the intervening days 911 happened and air travel stopped so i never knew if the final ever took place)

          1. @guitargraham Ha! One glove, what a prize. Congrats on being 12th in the world though. You would have thought they could have stretched to two gloves, presumably there’s someone else out there with another lone glove equally frustrated.

            1. Graham (@guitargraham)
              8th June 2020, 16:13

              undoubtedly! and many thanks! its a single mild seven blue drivers glove from his benetton era encased in an acrylic case/stand. when he won his title in 09 i remember turning to my wife and saying “well at least the glove is worth a bit more!”. during the qualifying tournament (which used special codes generated from a time attack around spa) i was actually No.1…for about half an hour. i stuck out like a sore thumb at the final at silverstone. i was a long haired 30 year old rocker in amongst teenagers that came with their dad. one day i’ll find my photos and get them digitised.

    5. Hakk The Rack
      8th June 2020, 7:08

      I was great in FIFA1996, still had no offer from any league and now sitting behind my desk at the office. What the hell????

      1. If you were good at it in 2020, its a $1 Million 1st prize for the pro league.

    6. Can’t help thinking back to the ‘Real men drive 40 polygons’ motto of GeneRally. xD

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