Virtual Vietnam GP Wrap-up: Charles Leclerc takes the win in another exciting F1 esports race!
The second F1 Virtual GP of the season has been run in F1 2019, here’s our roundup!
Sport around the globe has been grounded thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and Formula 1 is no exception.
To help make up for the lack of F1 Grands Prix, Formula 1 will be running Virtual races in F1 2019 in their place. The Virtual Bahrain GP was a huge success and this weekend’s event didn’t disappoint.
This weekend was meant to have the inaugural Vietnam GP being ran around the Hanoi Street Circuit. However, this has been postponed indefinitely, as have the other first eight races of the 2020 season.
As the new Hanoi Street Circuit isn’t in F1 2019, the circuit of choice for the organisers was Australia’s Albert Park. The Australian GP has come under fire for being dull in recent years but this edition well and truly bucked that trend!
Virtual Vietnam GP – Charles Leclerc takes the win
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world tuned into the streams online for qualifying.
Renault Academy driver Christian Lundgaard set the fastest time in qualifying but received a five-place penalty for a collision in qualifying.
That meant that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc earned his first virtual pole position in Formula 1.
The first corners were clean but there was a huge crash at the high-speed chicane at the back of the circuit ruined three drivers’ races. Johnny Herbert, Pietro Fittipaldi, Anthony Davidson and Ben Stokes were all in the wall but continued circulating.
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It seemed as though we were heading for a Leclerc 1-2, but Arthur Leclerc was caught out by Lundgaard on Lap 8. The pair were battling for P2 but the Monegasque spun, but he eventually recovered to fourth place. Arthur would go on to finish in fourth.
C. Leclerc was untouchable though, as he won by 10 seconds and remained unchallenged after the first corner. Lundgaard’s recovery to P2 was admirable, while Williams’ George Russell completed the podium in third place.
Johnny Herbert once again was making a name for himself in this series but not for the right reasons. The three-time Grand Prix winner earned himself a five-place grid penalty for a needless crash in qualifying.
Thankfully though, Herbert did manage to take the first corner properly this time. Cricketer Ben Stokes was one of the more left-field drivers in the game but managed to beat Herbert to P17. Stokes should also take credit for the extensive promotion he carried out for this race.
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There were some excellent battles through the race, Deletraz on Vandoorne, Button on Albon and to name a few. There was no sign of overtaking trouble in the Codemasters edition of this race!
Haas’ Louis Deletraz probably had the most eventful race of the grid with several spins but the Swiss still managed to finish P7. 2009 F1 Champion Jenson Button is inexperienced in esports but that didn’t stop the McLaren driver from finishing a respectable P11.
Overall, this was a very entertaining race and one which absolutely flew by very much blink and you miss it!
Social Media Reaction
Lando Norris was again trending online as he failed to make the grid for the race again. No sign of #LandoBOT on this occasion though!
Autosport commentator Luke Smith rubbed further salt in Lando’s wounds by Tweeting “Absolutely never counting on @LandoNorris for IT advice!”
READ MORE: #ChallengeLando details announced!
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 around the Shanghai International Circuit for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The driver line-up will be announced in due course but who would you like to see feature?