Virtual Spanish GP Results & Standings: Russell wins after dramatic battle with Leclerc

The Circuit de Catalunya hosted the Virtual Spanish GP where drama and penalties decided the race.

George Howson by George Howson
virtual spanish wrap up

There is talk of Formula 1 returning behind closed doors in July, but for now, the Virtual GP’s are here to stay.

Alexander Albon won last time out at Interlagos after another thrilling battle with Charles Leclerc. Leclerc and Albon have been the class of the field for the past three races and are the big favourites coming into this event.

This weekend was meant to have the Spanish GP, which is hosted at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. This is the only circuit to have seen the 2020 F1 cars in action, having hosted pre-season testing in February.

The Sao Paulo race last week was a stunner but was that replicated today? Here’s our rundown of the action.

Virtual Spanish GP Highlights

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George Russell did his best to break the Albon-Leclerc duopoly in qualifying by claiming pole position in qualifying. Russell got an awful run through Turns 1 & 2 though, dropping to fifth by the end of the first lap.

Mercedes’ Esteban Gutierrez took the lead but it was a familiar story as Leclerc swung around the outside into T1 to take P1. Albon followed suit on Lap 4 before making a very early pit-stop at a circuit where strategy is key.

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In a reverse of what happened at the Dutch GP, Albon went aggressive with a 2-stop, with Leclerc on the 1-stop. Just like so many races around the Circuit de Catalunya though, track position is king.

Albon would live to rue his early stop. Russell was now Leclerc’s closest challenger but as the Brit closed up, he made what could’ve been a crucial mistake.

Russell ran wide and accrued a time penalty, the strict corner cutting rules coming into effect. The Williams driver soon gave himself a chance of winning though, a brilliant move on Leclerc the following lap saw him take the lead on-track.

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However, Russell had to pull out a three-second gap and with the power of DRS that was always going to be a big ask. The pair swapped the lead in each of the closing laps, just like we saw a week ago at Interlagos.

Despite Russell’s unique racing lines, it was looking as though his penalty would cost him the win. Drama on the penultimate lap though, as Leclerc incurred a penalty of his own, meaning Russell led on both the track and on time!

Final classification

So it was Russell in P1, followed onto the podium by Leclerc and Gutierrez, but where did everyone else finish?

Position Driver Team
1 George Russell Williams
2 Charles Leclerc FDA Hublot Esports Team
3 Esteban Gutierrez Mercedes
4 Alex Albon Red Bull Racing
5 Nicholas Latifi Williams
6 Anthony Davidson Mercedes
7 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
8 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas
9 Antonio Fuoco FDA Hublot Esports Team
10 Max Fewtrell Renault
11 Jimmy Broadbent Racing Point
12 Thibaut Courtois Alfa Romeo
13 David Schumacher Racing Point
14 Sergio Aguero Red Bull Racing
15 Nic Hamilton McLaren
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Alpha Tauri
17 Andreas Pirello Alpha Tauri
18 Ian Poulter Renault
19 Arthur Melo Haas
20 (DNF) Lando Norris McLaren

Social Media Reaction

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The racing action might not have been the best at times but the strategic element of the race was top-notch.

Different strategies mixed up the field making overtaking frequent up and down the grid.

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Alex Albon’s gutsy two-stop strategy didn’t quite pay off despite his rapid pace.

What’s the next round?

The next round of the Virtual GP season will take place in two week’s time. This time it will be the Monaco GP in what’s sure to be an eventful race!

Keep your eyes peeled on our site for all of the driver announcements ahead of the race!

George Howson

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