Haas crowned 2021 Virtual Grand Prix champions as Russell wins sixth straight race
George Russell claimed yet another Virtual Grand Prix win on Sunday, making it six out of six for the Williams ace. His heroics were not enough to overhaul Haas F1 Team though, with brothers Enzo and Pietro Fittipaldi yet again delivering a double top-five finish to put huge points on the board.
Enzo followed Russell home in second place, while Pietro’s P5 finish was enough to ensure the American outfit could not be caught in the championship standings at the final race of this series.
AS IT HAPPENED: Watch all the action from the F1 Esports Virtual Sao Paulo Grand Prix
The frantic five-lap Sprint Race saw Alpine’s Nicolas Longuet take the win, after resisting constant pressure from FDA Esports’ Brendon Leigh to take first place. The win gave the French comedian – and Virtual Grand Prix debutant – Arnaud Tsamere a surprise pole position, with Dino Beganovic lining up second.
The start of the Feature Race (highlights above) was as chaotic as they come, with several cars making contact and spinning throughout the pack. The biggest beneficiary of this was Russell, who started way down in P14 thanks to a time penalty for Williams stablemate Alvaro Carreton. Russell evaded most of the carnage and emerged a stunning third after the opening corners, climbing to first place after hunting down Tsamere and then putting a move on Beganovic at the start of the third lap.
He was not the only driver in the ascendancy, with Enzo Fittipaldi sweeping past Beganovic on Lap 6 for second place, having started down in ninth. Beganovic started the first ever Virtual Grand Prix back in March 2020, but showed he has lost none of his sim racing prowess, engaging Alex Albon in a race-long duel for third place.
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The battle for the final points-paying position was a feisty one too, with Jack ‘Pie Face’ McDermott hounding AlphaTauri’s Luca Salvadori in the latter stages. But a late spin for the streamer dropped him out of contention, and the final points positions confirmed.
Behind top two Russell and Enzo Fittipaldi came Albon, followed by Beganovic and Pietro Fittipaldi. Sixth place was hotly-contested too, with Arthur Leclerc and Jake Dixon eventually settling into P6 and P7 respectively. Poleman Tsamere ended up an impressive eighth, with Jimmy Broadbent in ninth, and Salvadori rounded out the points.
Haas clocked an incredible 85 points over the three races and earned the honour of team champions, with the Fittipaldi brothers celebrating with their puppy, Speed TimTim.
FDA Esports wrapped up in second, and Williams grabbed third after two wins in the last two races for Russell. All three teams will get the biggest portion of the prize pot, which goes to charities around the world.
That concludes things for the Virtual Grand Prix series! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Keep your ear to the ground for updates on the 2021 F1 Esports Pro Championship, as we begin the search for our next superstar.
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