Even though world sports have been suspended due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, Formula 1 has been able to continue their ongoing season with the introduction of Virtual Grand Prix Series, where racers are competing with each other on the F1 2019 PC video game. Charles Leclerc, the young driver from Monaco has been on his prime in the Esports racing series, securing his second Virtual GP victory in yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix!
On Sunday, Leclerc secured his second win in the Virtual GP series, after finishing first in the Vietnam GP on April 5th, which took place at the Albert Park circuit of Melbourne, Australia, due to the unavailability of the Hanoi Street Circuit in the game.
The Ferrari racing team driver, who also cliched two victories in Belgium and Italy in the previous season, won the race from pole position, finishing 2.5 seconds ahead of Thai driver Alexander Albon of Red Bull Racing at the Shanghai International Circuit.
With all F1 track activity now halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, drivers are competing with each other from their own home, including Leclerc who joined in with his racing simulator from his home.
The race gathered over 60,000 audience on Leclerc’s Twitch live stream, and the elated 22 year old spoke to his fans after finishing victorious: “That was intense guys. That was really intense.”
Along with Leclerc and Albon, Formula 2 racer Guanyu Zhou from China, competing for the Renault team finished third.
The event also saw prominent names like Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo Racing, Carlos Sainz of McLaren and Nicholas Latifi and George Russell of Williams joined in for the race.
Along with drivers, the Virtual GP has also seen iconic names from other sports, such as Real Madrid and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who made his debut on Sunday with Red Bull.
England cricketer Ben Stokes also made his Virtual GP debut in the Vietnam GP event with his Ferrari teammate Leclerc.
The F1 Virtual GP, which kicked off on Bahrain International Circuit back in March, will not actually count any official World Championship points for the drivers, and has been organised only for the entertainment of the fans.