RACE DEBRIEF

    Up until just a few months ago George Russell had never tried sim racing and didn't even own a rig setup, but on Sunday evening he proved he is the new master of the art by wrapping up his fourth consecutive victory in the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series.

    The Williams driver had taken wins in the Monaco, Spanish and Azerbaijan races aver the past few weeks and he followed that hat-trick up with a fourth win on the trot in the Virtual Canadian Grand Prix – the last race in the series before the real F1 season begins in Austria next week.

    Russell took pole position with Red Bull's Alex Albon in second place, but when the lights went out the Williams man shot off the line and out into a lead he would never lose as he wrapped up the unofficial F1 Esports championship.

    From the very first lap Russell was in control of the race in another superb performance for a driver who has emerged as the star turn of the Virtual GP series – which he said has been great for keeping up his competitive edge while waiting for the F1 season to begin.

    "It's been great, it's kept us busy, kept us entertained, that's for sure," he said. "And it's kept the competitive side of us busy and interested. We don't have racing to go out and do at the moment and having this opportunity to race against all of us, our mates, it's been great fun along the way.

    "And from my side, I put a lot of hard work and effort in and I'm glad I've got some good results to show for it."

    Russell eventually finished over six seconds ahead of his nearest challenger Alex Albon in the Red Bull – and in fact so comfortable was Russell's lead, he even offered to slow down in the closing stages to allow Albon to battle him on track, an offer that was swiftly refused as you can see in the clip below.

    Elsewhere, Mercedes' Esteban Gutierrez completed the podium in third with Renault Academy driver Caio Collet coming home fourth for the French team on his Virtual GP debut.

    Meanwhile Virtual Bahrain GP winner and F2 racer Guanyu Zhou took fifth for Renault, ahead of Nicholas Latifi in the second Williams.

    Haas junior driver Louis Deletraz was also competing fresh from his victory in the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans race this weekend, but could only manage 12th, one place behind his Haas team mate Pietro Fittipaldi.

    Deletraz's fellow Le Mans competitor Pierre Gasly was also racing, but was eventually disqualified for racking up too many penalties.

    READ MORE: Leclerc says he wants to 'do the real Le Mans' after racing in Le Mans 24 Virtual event

    Check out the top ten finishers below, and if you missed any of the action you can watch it all, as it happened, in the video above.

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