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EsportsF1 stars line up for final virtual contest
F1 stars line up for final virtual contest thumbnail

F1 stars line up for final virtual contest

Formula 1 will stage the final instalment of its Virtual GP series on Sunday evening ahead of the sport’s real-life return in Austria in three weeks’ time.

The virtual world has helped fill the racing and entertainment void since the cancellation of the season-opening Australian GP in March was followed by a four-month delay to the start of F1 2020.The F1 Gossip Column

Eleven of the grid’s 20 drivers have featured during the course of the seven online races so far, with all but one of them won by a member of the 2020 field.

F1 drivers past and present, plus test drivers and competitors from other motorsport disciplines, have been joined in the varied grids by the likes of footballers Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, cricketer Ben Stokes, and singer Liam Payne.

Amid a friendly but increasingly competitive battle for honours between F1’s new young generation of stars from their respective homes on their simulators, George Russell has emerged as the man to beat in the Esports world in recent weeks – and goes in search of a fourth straight win in the Virtual Canadian GP on Sunday night.

Live coverage starts at 6pm on Sky Sports F1 and via our YouTube page in the free stream above (UK and Ireland only).9:08 One year on, relive the astonishing events of the 2019 Canadian GP and all the fallout from Sebastian Vettel’s race-losing penalty for a near-miss with Lewis Hamilton One year on, relive the astonishing events of the 2019 Canadian GP and all the fallout from Sebastian Vettel’s race-losing penalty for a near-miss with Lewis Hamilton Russell guranteed ‘unofficial’ virtual crown

The Williams youngster has won the last three virtual races – dominantly so around the computerised versions of Monaco and Baku – and leads the unofficial points standings.

Although it was not designated as a championship when the series began in late March, Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – the only other multiple victor – had been battling to become the ‘unofficial’ champion.0:48 George Russell is on a roll in F1’s Esports series, and won last time out again in virtual Baku George Russell is on a roll in F1’s Esports series, and won last time out again in virtual Baku

However, with Leclerc not in this weekend’s field and instead joining fellow F1 Esports regular Lando Norris and Max Verstappen in Saturday and Sunday’s line-up for the virtual version of the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours, Russell is already guaranteed to take bragging rights.

The Briton is one of five current drivers in the field for F1’s Esports finale.

Valtteri Bottas, the seven-time Grand Prix winner, joins for a second attempt with Mercedes, while Red Bull’s Alex Albon, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, and Nicholas Latifi, Russell’s Williams team-mate, are also in action once again.The grid for the Virtual Canadian GP Mercedes.