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Leclerc Among Six F1 Drivers Ready To Race In Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

Virtual Chinese GP: Charles Leclerc on track again, with Callum llott, Tonizza and Bonito

Ferrari is ready to field a top class team of four drivers for the Virtual Chinese Grand Prix, the third race in the “We Race On” initiative launched by Formula 1 just over one month ago. Charles Leclerc, David Tonizza and Enzo Bonito have all raced before and this time they are joined by Callum Ilot, the 21 year old British member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. This season he is due to race in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with the UNI-Virtuosi Racing team. “We Race On” is hosting virtual races on the weekends when real Grands Prix were due to take place according to the 2020 calendar, but cannot because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previous races. The first round took place on 22 March, using the Bahrain track, while the second event, the Virtual Vietnam GP was run using Melbourne’s Albert Park track on 5 April and our own Charles Leclerc was the winner. Once again this Sunday, there will be two races: one for professional sim racers and another for a mix of real racing drivers and personalities from other sports as well as TV and other celebrities.

Programme. Getting things started on Sunday at 18.00 CET will be the Pro Exhibition Race, over 14 laps, with David Tonizza and Enzo Bonito tackling the Shanghai track. Last year on the Chinese circuit, “Tonzilla” won the F1 Esports Series race and this weekend, following on from coming second in the Vietnam event, the reigning World Champion is aiming to go one better. Enzo Bonito was tenth in the Vietnam race and, last year he was twelfth on the Shanghai track, having started from sixth on the grid for the McLaren Shadow team. Flying the flag for the FDA Hublot Esports Team, Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari Formula 1 driver, himself a former FDA student, will line up along with the other celebrities and his team-mate Callum Ilot. For this 28 lap race, to take into account that some participants are new to this game, the cars have identical set-up and performance levels and there is a limit to the damage they can sustain in a crash. The event will be streamed on-line on Formula 1’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels, as well as the Ferrari and FDAFans Facebook channels.

 

Juan Manuel Correa joins Giovinazzi for Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

Antonio Giovinazzi and Juan Manuel Correa will represent Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in Sunday’s Chinese Virtual Grand Prix as the team aims to continue its strong streak of results in Formula One’s series of simracing events.

The duo will face strong opposition, with a total of six current Formula One drivers scheduled to take part in the race alongside celebrities, young talents and legends of the sport. Broadcast for the race will start at 7:00pm (CEST) on Sunday, 19 April, and will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo and Facebook channels.

Antonio Giovinazzi, fresh from his fifth place in the Virtual Grand Prix in Melbourne, his first race on the F1 2019 game, will return with two more weeks of practice under his belt – including his participation in the popular #RaceForTheWorld series, organised by a group of Formula One drivers themselves to raise funds for the fight against Covid-19. A keen simracer, the Italian will aim to improve on his strong debut.

Alongside him for the first time will be Juan Manuel Correa. The Ecuadorean-American driver, who competed in F2 and tested for the Hinwil team in 2019, will take part in his first official Formula One simracing event this weekend, but comes with plenty of experience in virtual racing, including several appearances in the esports events that took place in recent weeks.

The Virtual Grand Prix will be followed, once again, by the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race. As in Melbourne, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN will be fielding the competitive duo of Daniel Bereznay and James Baldwin. Following an unlucky outing in Australia, where both drivers were innocent victims in lap one incidents, Daniel and James will be aiming to turn their fortunes around and return to the dominant ways they have shown in a range of simracing events so far in 2020.

Six F1 Drivers Ready To Race In Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

Following the success of the second instalment of the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix, six Formula 1 drivers will battle it out at the Virtual Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, 19th April at 18:00 BST. After winning the last race on his debut, Charles Leclerc will be out for victory once again, as he takes on his fellow Formula 1 competitors, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi on the starting grid.

Alongside a star-studded grid of Formula 1 drivers, Real Madrid and Belgium international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois makes his Virtual Grand Prix debut for Red Bull, with a host of other exciting names set to be announced over the coming days.

This weekend’s virtual Grand Prix is the third race in the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which gives fans the chance to watch Formula 1 races virtually during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

This weekend’s Grand Prix will take place at the Shanghai International Circuit, China on the day when the official Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix 2020 would have originally taken place. Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 6:00pm (BST) on Sunday April 19 – a change from previous weekends where races have started at 8:00pm.

The broadcast which will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo and Facebook channels, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes, with a qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time, followed by a 28-lap race. The Virtual Grand Prix will also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries including in the UK on Sky Sports and in the US on ESPN.

In addition to the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix, the F1 Esports Series China Championship will kick off its 2020 Season on Sunday with a Pre-season Event. The 2020 Season will retain much of the same structure with qualification, regional finals, and the Grand Final – but will see the introduction of a brand-new Pro League which was not part of the 2019 Season. The Pro League is a 22 race online championship following the same point scoring mechanic as the Formula One World Championship. The top ten racers from the Pro League driver standings will enter the Grand Final directly and compete with other racers from the regional finals for the chance to sign for an official F1 Esports team.

The Pre-season Event itself will include two online exhibition races. The first will be an All-Star race at Circuit de Monaco where top racers from the 2019 Season will put on a show, whilst the second will be a Pro League pre-season race at Shanghai International Circuit where the Pro League teams will get a chance to showcase their talents in front of fans.

This weekend’s F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race will precede the virtual Grand Prix – and is set to begin at 5:00pm (BST). The broadcast will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels as well as selected TV broadcasters and is expected to run for 1 hour.

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