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George Russell survives lap one carnage to win Virtual Grand Prix from 14th

George Russell racing in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
George Russell racing in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Nico Boyce
Modified 15 Feb 2021

Williams F1 driver George Russell showed his pedigree to dominate the Virtual Grand Prix of Sao Paulo, his sixth consecutive victory. The Haas duo of the Fittipaldi brothers scored enough points to take the overall teams crown, along with the $20,000 donation to their chosen charity.

Russell lined up 14th on the grid but avoided contact at the Senna S and made early passes to lead by over two seconds by the fourth lap.

With all of the Codemasters F1 2020 game assists enabled to give the less experienced Virtual Grand Prix entrants more of a chance, penalties were applied to almost all racers for multiple transgressions. The lead duo of George Russell and Enzo Fittipaldi avoided penalties and battled to the end.

Virtual Grand Prix battles continue to the end

"I'm fully focused here but I think I'm completely on the wrong strategy," Russell voiced his concerns over the comms. His worries weren't to come to fruition, as he emerged from a stop for medium rubber to find himself mere pixels ahead of Arthur Leclerc and regained the lead of the Virtual Grand Prix as the pitstops cycled through.

Jack "pieface23" McDermott was the only racer sticking to a controller rather than high-tech force feedback steering wheels. The FIFA eSports star was running in a respectable 10th, albeit with tyres in poor condition, with just ten laps to go.

Alex Albon in the Red Bull put in a spirited drive, making his way up to the podium places after a fierce Virtual Grand Prix battle battle with Laurito: "What are you doing, Dino?!" shouted Alex Albon in response to Amos "Dino" Laurito pushing him wide for the second time as Alex attempted a DRS assisted pass. Eventually Albon settled the matter, getting the inside into the fifth turn and taking his line on the exit.

George Russell sealed the win of the Virtual GP with a series of fastest laps at the end, a great way to celebrate ahead of his 23rd birthday tomorrow.

Published 15 Feb 2021, 01:22 IST
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