Watch Virtual GP tonight at 6pm; Qualifying and race will be live on Sky Sports F1, Main Event, Mix & YouTube
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 24/05/20 5:40pm
Formula 1 heads – virtually – to the grandest settings of them all tonight on Sky Sports F1 with Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all part of a star-studded grid for the online Monaco GP.
On the same Sunday when F1 would have been racing around the sport’s most famous venue, eight current drivers and various celebrities have signed up for a Virtual Monaco GP which is sure to be hectic.
Coverage of qualifying and the race, live on Sky Sports F1, Main Event, Mix, and our YouTube channels, starts at 6pm tonight.
More F1 stars will be taking part than in any of the previous five events in the official eSports series, with Bottas, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate who finished second in the championship last year, and Esteban Ocon, the highly-rated Renault youngster, making their Virtual GP debuts.
They’re added to the usual six F1 participants – Ferrari’s Leclerc, Red Bull’s Alex Albon, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Williams pair George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.
There have been epic race-long duels in each of the last two Virtual GPs, with Albon getting the better of two-time race-winner Leclerc at Brazil before Russell won the last race in Spain after Leclerc’s late penalty.
Can Aubameyang make his mark in F1 debut?
Arsenal striker Aubameyang, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot last season, is the latest high-profile sporting celebrity to take on the F1 grid in Virtual GPs, which started in March to fill the void left by a delayed 2020 championship.
The Gabon international, who will be racing alongside Norris for McLaren, is following in the wheel tracks of fellow hotshot Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City forward who finished 14th on an impressive Spanish GP debut.
But the best position achieved by a sportsman so far in the online series was by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in that last race – 12th. The Belgium, and former Chelsea, star – an avid racer – is back on the grid for Monaco.
The other celebrity rookies on the grid are Luis Fonsi, the Latin America singer of ‘Despacito’, and Hawaiian surfer Kai Lenny.
A short qualifying session at 6pm will be followed by a 39-lap race around the iconic narrow Monte Carlo streets, the most difficult-to-master track on the F1 calendar.
It promises to be utter carnage…
Grid for Sunday’s Virtual Monaco GP
|Mercedes||Valtteri Bottas||Esteban Gutierrez|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||Arthur Leclerc|
|Red Bull||Alex Albon||Kai Lenny|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang|
|Renault||Esteban Ocon||Nico Prost|
|Racing Point||Luis Fonsi||David Schumacher|
|AlphaTauri||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Luca Salvadori|
|Alfa Romeo||Antonio Giovinazzi||Thibaut Courtois|
|Haas||Louis Deletraz||Pietro Fittipaldi|
|Williams||George Russell||Nicholas Latifi|
Source : Sky Sports