Virtual Grand Prix of Monaco won George RussellMay 26, 2020
Qualification on the virtual circuit in Monaco took place again under the virtual rain, which only complicated the task of the Grand Prix participants.
Valtteri Bottas took part in such competitions for the first time, but immediately went quite quickly, showing the 8th result. But with another debutant, Esteban Okon, things were not going the best way – the French racer Renault was unable to rise above the 17th starting position.
Young David Schumacher almost made a sensation: it seemed that the nephew of the seven-time world champion was close to the pole, and only at the end of the session he was ahead of George Russell and Pietro Fittipaldi, and the Brazilian, the bearer of another high-profile racing name, showed the best time in qualifying.
Charles Lecler, from whom much was expected, and his younger brother Arthur occupied the third row of the starting field.
“Weather” at the beginning of the race improved, everyone switched to slicks. Pietro started well, but George Russell was ahead of him in the first lap. At the start, an acute situation arose involving several cars, and Valtteri Bottas could not avoid it, so the Mercedes driver lost several positions.
In the first circles, Pietro Fittipaldi also rolled back, so Arthur Leclair moved to 2nd place, David Schumacher rode third, Charles Leclair rode fourth.
On the third lap, he managed to get ahead of Schumacher in front of the tunnel and reach the third position. David could not resist and in fourth place, he was soon overtaken by Esteban Gutierrez, though after a couple of laps he went to an early pit stop, because of which he lost several positions.
By the 8th lap of the race, Russell was leading with an advantage of 3.5 seconds, Arthur Lecler could not oppose the speed of the Briton and on the 9th lap turned into the pit lane.
The Williams racer was ahead of his brother Charles by 10 seconds, and on the 10th lap the Monegasque went for a fresh set of rubber, after which he had to again make his way forward from the 10th position.
George Russell continued to lead, followed by Schumacher, followed by Lando Norris, starting from 9th position. But David made a mistake, and in the top three leaders there were changes: Fittipaldi again came in second place, while the McLaren rider remained in third position.
He tried to compete with Pietro, but here he was caught up by Arthur Lecler, who was pressed by Alexander Elbon. Lando was not up to the battle for the second position, because he had to fend off the attacks of the opponent. On the 16th lap, Esteban managed to get ahead of Elbon.
By the middle of the race, Charles Lecler had already caught up with this group and soon returned to the top five, also ahead of the Red Bull Racing driver.
There was a contact between the cars of Arthur Leclair and Lando Norris, because of which the brother of the Ferrari racer lost several positions, but Charles was already in third place, and after three laps came in second place when Fittipaldi received a penalty.
On the 28th lap, Pietro went to the pits, so Leclair Jr. moved to 3rd position. On the next lap, Russell spent his only pit stop, but his advantage was so great that he retained the lead.
Charles rode in second position, losing him 15 seconds. But his brother could not hold the third position, at the end of the start-finish line he was ahead of Gutierrez and 5 laps before the finish he began to pressure Charles.
On the 36th lap Esteban went on a decisive attack, but the Monegasque was able to repel the attacks for a long time, but the Mercedes racer was not far behind. On the penultimate lap, the Mexican simply knocked out Lecler’s Ferrari off the track and stepped forward. As a result, Charles was able to finish the race third.
And on the last lap, Elbon managed to get ahead of Arthur Leclair and finish fourth. Fittipaldi, who started from the pole, took fifth place.
Of course, Russell won a landslide victory, and the second in a row, which, of course, is worthy of respect. However, although Valtteri Bottas finished only 10th on the day of his debut in virtual racing, for the first time this is not bad.
For a rider, accustomed to the podiums and victories, this is not the result he was counting on. Moreover, his partner, Esteban Gutierrez, took second place.
“Qualification took place in the rain, for me it was the first such experience on the highway in Monaco, so it was quite interesting,” commented the somewhat frustrated Bottas. – But in the first round of the race there was a major accident, because of which I lost a lot of positions. In addition, most riders prepared for this Grand Prix is much better than me, because I only returned to Monaco a couple of days ago, installed a new simulator at home and set it up only today.
In general, the situation in Monaco is not bad, there is nothing to complain about, there is the opportunity to actively train in the fresh air, although it is clear that life here, as in many other places, has not yet completely returned to normal. But she can already enjoy! ”
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