Russell wins his fifth Virtual GP running in another race awash with penalties

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In the round-up: Having missed the first Virtual Grand Prix of the new series, George Russell returned to extend the four-race winning streak he ended last season with.

2021 Virtual British Grand Prix

Russell and Alexander Albon swapped the lead over the final laps of the second Virtual Grand Prix, but it was immaterial to the outcome of the race. Albon incurred a three-second time penalty at half-distance, so it made no difference that he nipped by Russell on the Hangar straight on the final lap.

The result means Russell remains undefeated in the last five Virtual GPs he has shown up for. Callum Ilott took third, having led the early stages thanks to pole position won for him by esports Pro driver Brendon Leigh in the qualifying sprint race.

Enzo Fittipaldi, who won in Russell’s absence last week, came in fifth behind brother and Haas team mate Pietro Fittipaldi. Haas lead the points standings with one round to go, on 57 points ahead of Ferrari’s squad, which competes under the name FDA Esports.

Aside from Russell, the only current Formula 1 driver to compete in the race was his real-world team mate Nicholas Latifi, who took seventh behind Red Bull Junior Team member Liam Lawson. As in the opening round, many drivers collected penalties in the half-distance event, with only five finishers not having time added.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Should we resist the temptation to label promising junior drivers as “future champions”?

I get a little sick of hearing the term “future champion” – it seems to get used all to often, and just as often the target of the conversation doesn’t ever have the car or the skill to actually be a champion.

Pretty much every driver in the field has the potential, otherwise they wouldn’t be driving in F1 but only a very few, even the so called “special” ones, end up in the right car at the right time.

Yes Russell, Leclerc, Verstappen etc are all great drivers, but reality says that it’s just as possible that none of them will ever become a champion due to either not having the right equipment or someone more special coming along in the interim.
DB-C90 (@dbradock)

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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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11 comments on “Russell wins his fifth Virtual GP running in another race awash with penalties”

  1. How similar are these simulation games to reality? I know many people try to hype Russell but he has many times ruined his own races. And his good performance in Sahkir says more about how bad Bottas is than how good he is.

    1. No racing game is all that realistic. Whether it’s assetto Corsa or Wip3out… None of them have a real sense of risk that real Motorsport can give.

      That prospect of risk of both pain and money can’t be simulated on a computer.

    2. someone or something
      8th February 2021, 1:10

      About as similar as karting and F1 are.
      All three require a lot of skill and dedication to be competitive, but whatever makes you go faster in one category doesn’t necessarily apply in the others.

      Obnoxious wisdoms aside, some drivers mentioned last year that the video games can feel pretty realistic and immersive at times, to the point where they had to remind themselves that this isn’t real in order not bring the video game mindset to the race track and pay the price for it.
      On the other hand, Leclerc et al. also said there were sections that felt completely unrealistic, such as Barcelona sector 3.

    3. @omarr-pepper

      And his good performance in Sahkir says more about how bad Bottas is than how good he is.

      No it doesn’t. It says how good Russell is. You must literally walk around on your head to see things that upside-down.

      1. Who cares?

      2. Which makes Latifi a pretty special driver as well; he wasn’t that far off on most Sundays.

        Or maybe Russell is very (multi) talented, exceptionally fast on a single lap, but has opportunities to further develop his race craft for the full GP.

    4. @omarr-pepper They’re quite some way off according to hardcore simracer Norris, and especially the official F1 one which is more an arcade game than simracer and which the F1 drivers don’t like at all (practically shunned by Norris and fellow simracer Verstappen), but adaptability and focus over time are still key factors so performance here will give some indication.

  2. Did Alpine really line up two random youtubers?

    1. Yes.
      The french fake-Pewdeepie and a random sim racer…

  3. If so many penalties are given why don’t the virtual GP organizers relax the rules? I understand that rules are necessary in order to avoid a mario-kart style brawl, but short of brazen cheating (crossing the chicane, ramming the car into the opponent, etc.), why not ease the rules a bit? I mean, there is no risk of death or injury in a virtual race..

    1. The game has a virtual algorithm that stewards the rules. It can’t be changed. This is due to the nature of the game being more of a arcade game that is meant to be sold to masses. You don’t even need a proper pedal and wheels as one of the Alfa drivers was racing with a play station controller. So I think the results of this event should be taken with a pinch of salt. It isn’t necessarily made to demonstrate competition but rather entertainment during off season

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