Virtual Vietnam GP: Jenson Button, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Ben Stokes, Who is racing, confirmed grid, F1 esports exhibition race, how to watch, format, F1 2020, & more
Virtual F1 returns this weekend! Who is racing, and how can you watch the wild race?
While Formula 1 is still yet to get underway thanks to coronavirus, the Virtual Grand Prix Series returns this weekend to keep the racing action coming.
Today would have seen the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix around the streets of Hanoi.
With that race understandably postponed, F1 will instead return to the Gfinity Arena for the second Virtual Grand Prix.
More and more names are being confirmed for the grid, so what can we expect from the race after the chaos and wheel-to-wheel action of the first race?
Virtual Vietnam GP… in Melbourne
With the Vietnam circuit not in the F1 2019 game, and F1 2020 still a few months away, the race will actually take place in Australia.
Albert Park is a terrific semi-street circuit that is the traditional season-opener. As such it makes sense to use it place of the Hanoi circuit.
While overtaking is tricky in the real Albert Park, in F1 2019 there are few places you can make a move. Turn 3 will be the main spot as it comes after two DRS straights.
Drivers’ thoughts up to the event
With some incredibly talented individuals racing against each other, we’ve taken a look through the window into their sporting minds….Twitter.
Let’s take a look at how some of the drivers are preparing for battle!
Nicholas Latifii is looking seriously prepared as he goes into the hotseat for Team Williams.
Lando Norris for McLaren is definitely one to watch. He put in a solid performance last week in the ChallengeLando event, but admitted to making a few costly mistakes in the process.
How will he fare this time around, now that the stakes are higher?
Ben Stokes, British cricketer will be joining the Red Bull Racing team and he is understandably excited at the chance to mix it up with the professionals.
His latest Instagram post has us somewhat concerned, however! Let’s hope he’s pulling our leg!
Louis Deletraz for team Haas shares our predictions on the upcoming race.
George Russell driving for Team Williams, looks relaxed in his setup – we wonder how relaxed he’ll be when it all kicks off at 8pm!
We now have confirmation of the race format.
There will be an 18-minute qualifying session to determine grid order and then a 50% distance race, which should be 28 laps.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Australian Grand Prix Setup Guide
Driver assists will be available to help the amateur racers, with some anti-lock brakes and traction control available. Default setups will also be applied.
Confirmed grid – Button, Leclerc & more
We know that six F1 drivers are confirmed for the race. Both Williams drivers, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, will be racing, along with Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Albon’s teammate in the Red Bull will be none other than England cricket hero Ben Stokes!
That’s six drivers confirmed! Who is likely to take the rest of the seats?
We also know that ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lundgaard, Charouz Racing System’s Louis Deletraz, and Haas F1 Team Reserve Driver Pietro Fittipaldi all signed up too. As are Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson.
Streamer Jimmy Broadbent will also return to renew his rivalry with Lando Norris.
The Mercedes pair of Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez will return as they have been heavily involved with sim racing over the last few weeks.
READ MORE: Everything there is to know about MotoGP 20
2009 World Drivers’ Champion Jenson Button also returns to F1 action.
How to watch
The Virtual Vietnam GP will be broadcast live at 8pm BST on Sunday, 5 April.
You can tune in via the official Formula 1 page on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
The Virtual Grand Prix will also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners including in the UK on Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix (Sky channel 145).
F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race
After the virtual Vietnam Grand Prix is over, a special F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race featuring esports gamers will follow from 9:30pm BST.
The broadcast will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as selected TV broadcasters and, which is expected to run for 1 hour.
Some of the biggest names in sim racing will be competing, with defending F1 Esports champion David Tonizza and Red Bull’s Frederik Rasmussen on the grid for a race around Albert Park.
F1 2020 release date
While the F1 season is in some doubt, as far as we know the F1 2020 game is still on track.
Codemasters are yet to publicly announce the release date of F1 2020, but we expect it to drop at the end of June.