Alex Albon put the demons of last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix well and truly to bed this evening by taking victory in the fourth round of the F1 Esports Virtual GP Series at Sao Paolo’s Interlagos circuit. Teammate and England cricket star, Ben Stokes, also impressed with a solid finish in thirteenth position.
Alex recovered in the race from an average qualifying with a mighty launch off the line to go first from fifth by the first corner, and then spent the rest of the evening trading the race lead with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The pair built up a six second lead from George Russell in third, before a three-second time penalty for Leclerc, after he exceeded track limits, eased the pressure on Alex.
Ben was in a battle towards the back of the field after qualifying eighteenth and managed to smash his sole aim of beating fellow England cricketer Stuart Broad who finished four places behind in seventeeth.
After the race, Alex said: “I was shaking and sweating after crossing the line as I had so much adrenaline in my body. I think my Team and our strategy ultimately gave us the edge as on pace, Charles was very quick. Qualifying wasn’t great but I’ve been practising my starts and I’ve got to thank Honda and my engineer Marcel for the great launch! Once Charles and I had built a gap we started to fight and it was really good fun, I enjoyed it a lot and ultimately, we had the best strategy. It was nice to get the adrenaline going and feel the pressure slightly – it’s something we miss from the race weekends. It was great too to have my teammate Ben back and he did a great job after all the practice he’s put in.”
F1 Virtual Grand Prix Results
1. Alex Albon – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
2. George Russell – Williams Racing
3. Charles Leclerc – FDA Hublot Esports
4. Stoffel Vandoorne – Mercedes
5. Esteban Gutierrez – Mercedes
6. Christian Lundgaard – Renault
7. Enzo Fittipaldi – FDA Hublot Esports
8. Louis Deletraz – Haas
9. Nicholas Latifi – Williams Racing
10. Lando Norris – McLaren