Leclerc holds off Albon for another win

Recap the best moments from another entertaining online F1 race

Last Updated: 19/04/20 8:16pm

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc wins the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix to make it back to back virtual victories, beating Alexander Albon who secured his first F1 podium.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc wins the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix to make it back to back virtual victories, beating Alexander Albon who secured his first F1 podium.

Charles Leclerc once again proved his online racing nous as he made it back-to-back Virtual GP victories on Sunday night – albeit after an epic race-long battle with F1 rival Alex Albon around the Shanghai circuit.

Leclerc and Albon, mainstays at the front of the grid in F1 for Ferrari and Red Bull respectively, were the class acts in a Virtual Chinese GP which included sporting stars such as Thibaut Courtois and Ian Poulter.

But while Albon pushed Leclerc hard throughout F1’s third official Esports race, even undercutting him in the pits, it was the Monegasque who came out on top after a risky overtake into Turn One, nudging Max Verstappen’s team-mate aside for another race win.

“I am disappointed, I’m not going to lie,” said Albon, who was already looking ahead to F1’s next online event. “Back to the drawing board.”

Virtual Chinese GP: The best bits

Leclerc leads off pole… while George Russell loses ground and Carlos Sainz goes for a huge spin!

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Enjoy the first lap of the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix, as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc starts on pole and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz goes for a spin!
Enjoy the first lap of the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix, as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc starts on pole and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz goes for a spin!

More technical difficulties for Lando…

Team tactics from Red Bull as Thibaut Courtois tries to hold up Leclerc for team-mate Albon

Golfer Ian Poulter with the most laid-back overtaking manoeuvre of the year…

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Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter switches the fairways for a race track and battles hard during the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix.
Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter switches the fairways for a race track and battles hard during the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix.

… before going for a spin while chatting on-air!

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Golfer Ian Poulter goes for a spin whilst talking to the commentary team during the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix.
Golfer Ian Poulter goes for a spin whilst talking to the commentary team during the F1 Esports Chinese Virtual Grand Prix.

How the F1 drivers, and footballers, fared

Leclerc and Albon were two of seven F1 drivers in action.

George Russell also impressed and, after a controversial qualifying penalty which cost him a front-row start, finished fourth in the Williams.

Behind him, real-life team-mate Nicholas Latifi was ninth, a place ahead of Carlos Sainz who was making his Esports F1 debut for McLaren and a had a huge spin at the start, while Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi didn’t even finish the race.

Although that was more than Lando Norris accomplished, with the young British driver facing more technical difficulties and failing to even take part.

Guanyu Zhou, winner of the first of three virtual F1 races in the absence of the 2020 season, completed the podium for Renault after some wheel-to-wheel battles with Stoffel Vandoorne, who was handed a post-race penalty and finished fifth.

Thibaut Courtois won the ‘footballer battle’ as the Real Madrid goalkeeper finished 15th, a place ahead of Lazio striker Ciro Immobile.

Both beat Sky F1’s Anthony Davidson, who would have propped up the timesheets if not for Poulter.

Source : Sky Sports