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Football star Laporte joins F3 ace Piastri for Virtual Baku

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Renault DP World F1 Team will field Renault Sport Academy talent Oscar Piastri alongside French footballer Aymeric Laporte in this weekend’s Formula 1 Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Oscar joined the Academy in January after winning last season’s Formula Renault Eurocup. This year sees the Australian race in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with reigning champions Prema Racing.

Oscar will make his first Virtual Grand Prix appearance this weekend on the thrilling Baku City Circuit, as his preparation for the 2020 season ramps up.

On the opposite side of the virtual garage, the 19-year-old is joined by Manchester City star Laporte.

Laporte was a guest of the team at last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, fuelling his passion for Formula 1 and furthering an appetite to discover even more about the sport.

Now, the 26-year-old has his chance to drive in a virtual race alongside Formula 1 drivers, junior drivers and other footballers on the 6.003km Baku street circuit.

The Frenchman is a fan favourite in Manchester having signed for the Premier League club in January 2018. He has so far won two Premier League titles as well as four domestic cups with the Sky Blues and is regarded as one of the best defenders in world football.

For the Exhibition Race (17:00 BST) prior to the Virtual Grand Prix (18:00 BST), Nicolas Longuet and Fabrizio Donoso will represent the team looking to build on a positive outing in Monaco where Nicolas ended seventh and Fabrizio in twelfth.

Oscar Piastri: “I’m super excited to be finally be racing again, even if it is virtually. I’ve been doing some sim racing whilst I was home in Australia, and the adrenaline rush and competitive nature of virtual racing definitely matches with real life.

“I’m really looking forward to competing with some big names in motorsport, and also various other sports. I have to say, I’m not a massive football fan, but racing alongside Aymeric Laporte will be an amazing experience.

“Thanks to Renault DP World F1 Team for giving me this opportunity, and hopefully I can bring home some virtual silverware!”

Aymeric Laporte: “I’m really excited about the chance to be racing in Formula 1 this weekend. Of course, it is virtually and I’ll be racing from my simulator at my home in Manchester, but it’s a great opportunity to do this along with all these other drivers.

“I really want to thank Renault DP World F1 Team for this opportunity to race. I’ll sure be practicing the Baku circuit as much as I can until the restart of the Premier League season. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”

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Paul Velasco

Paul Velasco