Penalties galore as Fittipaldi wins Austrian Virtual GP

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In the round-up: Ferrari Driver Academy member Enzo Fittipaldi won the season-opening Virtual Grand Prix after a spate of penalties.

Virtual Grand Prix round one: Red Bull Ring

Fittipaldi came from ninth on the grid to win the first of three rounds in the Virtual Grand Prix series.

However the race was marred by time penalties: The 17 drivers still running at the flag collected 46 between them, almost all of which were for exceeding track limits. This figure excludes those collected by Vitantonio Liuzzi, who was disqualified on lap 15 of 36 for repeated violations, and two other drivers who did not finish.

A single competitor – Formula 3 champion and Renault junior driver Oscar Piastri – did not receive a penalty. Nicholas Latifi was the only active Formula 1 driver to take part in the competition after team mate George Russell was unable to participate.

Fittipaldi, driving for Haas, emerged on top in a scrap with fellow FDA member Arthur Leclerc. However his three penalties to Fittipaldi’s one not only ensured Leclerc would finish behind, but cost him a position to a fast-closing Stoffel Vandoorne, who was promoted to second on the rostrum.

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Comment of the day

Joshua rates Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri’s chances of getting into F1 in the coming seasons:

Piastri is in a great position to get to F1 in the next few years.

Really his minimum aim for 2021 would probably be to finish ahead of fellow Renault/Alpine juniors Lundgaard and Zhou. To get to F1 in 2022 he would basically need to win the championship and hope Ocon struggles.

But I think 2023 is a bit more realistic considering how competitive F2 is this year and due to Alonso probably retiring as well as Alpine maybe going after Gasly.
Joshua Miles (@milesy-jam)

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Carlos Reutemann won the South African Grand Prix for Williams. A row between FISA (now FIA) and FOCA (now F1 Management) meant Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo boycotted the race, and no points were awarded

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10 comments on “Penalties galore as Fittipaldi wins Austrian Virtual GP”

  1. The Rolex24 was great racing with the top four in Prototypes DPI were some 8 seconds apart after 23-1/2 hours of racing. Great to See Rossi grab another milestone in his racing career. Such time wasted in F1 for him. He is kicking ass in racing cars now. Get him back into Formula One.
    The cars are stunning to watch. Such design so cool pretty amazing series. Sharing a race car made to run flat out for longer than humans can stay awake. Good stuff great challenge the Rolex is a jewel among many in today’s world of racing.

  2. It’s ridiculous that they insist on having strict corner-cutting rules for the Virtual GP. I watched the first few laps but then gave up because of how many penalties there were. If they changed it to relaxed the drivers would still not be able to cut corners, they would just be allowed to push the track limits slightly. I think it is better to have a little bit of exceeding track limits, than to have the entire field be given penalties, and if two drivers are fighting for the win, the winner will be the one who can beat the other on track; not the one with the least penalties.

    1. @f1frog erm, I really doubt it… did you watch any of the onboards? it’s an arcade game, the quicker you get into the corner, the quicker you exit. Without track limits, they’d be cutting the corners even more…

      They try to make it “serious”, but without those rules it’d be even more of a farce.

      1. There is a relaxed setting which still gives you penalties for corner cuts, but it gives you a warning or 2 first. The strict setting is way too strict.

  3. Doing the Virtual GP thing is somewhat more pointless this year than last because the F1 off-season won’t last as long as it did last time.

  4. 40 years ago today Carlos Reutemann won the South African Grand Prix for Williams. A row between FISA (now FIA) and FOCA (now F1 Management) meant Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo boycotted the race, and no points were awarded

    Had Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo boycotted the whole last season, then the best Williams would’ve done in a race is 7th. But at least they would no longer be worst :P

  5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    1st February 2021, 10:47

    A rollercoaster race for Magnussen and the 01 Cadillac team. An awesome battle with Rossi for the lead, a silly drive through, miraculously not losing a lap after Scott Dixon got a puncture, then back fighting for the lead again before Renge Var Der Zande got another puncture with 5 minutes to go.
    A well spent weekend and looking forward to the rest of the IMSA season.

    1. It was an awesome race. Shame the tire failure robed us of what could have been an incredible final few minutes, but until then it was edge of the seat stuff after 23 hours and 50 minutes of racing.

  6. Marcelo Faviere
    1st February 2021, 15:27

    Enzo and Leclerc are close friends right?

  7. VGP is like FE: Good concepts completely ruined by being ‘arcaded’.

    The corner-cutting punishments is a good measure, but way too late. It always was and will always be an arcade game, not a state of the art simulator as it ought to be, and people treat it like that.

Comments are closed.