Charles Leclerc, the popular Ferrari Formula 1 race winner, went for –and owned– the Virtual Vietnam Grand Prix. This was his competitive sim racing debut, and he left Renault junior Formula 2 driver Christian Lundgaard to bite his dust. Yeah, he’s totally racing savvy.

This is the second Virtual GP replacing the real-life F1 season postponed due to coronavirus; it took place at Albert Park with the new Vietnam circuit. By the way, this circuit is not in the Codemasters’s F1 2019 game. Hey, we need to move on with our lives, and online Esports is the way to go.

Lundgaard had taken the pole position ahead of Leclerc and a novice Williams F1 driver George Russell, but a collision penalty made Lungaard give up his pole, so Leclerc was promoted to pole. Leclerc got his advantage and used it for the rest of the contest, all 29 laps.


“It was unbelievably hard,” said Leclerc. “I’m sweating like crazy. Great race.” (Thank goodness its virtual autoracing he’s talking about… phew!). The guy bought the game eight days ago and put in at least five hours each day – noobster! – to make it happen. He won over 14 seconds ahead of Lundgaard, which is really making it happen.

Lungaard took second place from Charles’s brother Arthur during the eighth lap at Turn 1, when Arthur ended up in the gravel and dropped down to 4th place. Russel, after spinning at Turn 1, dropped behind Lundgaard and Leclerc; Mercedes Formula E star Stoffel Vandoorne got sixth place and Haas F1 reserve driver Louis Deletraz got seventh, because of two separate collisions.

The next Virtual GP will be taking place in two weeks, and this time it will be on the virtual Shanghai circuit. We’re not stepping back. Nice try, corona-v.

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