Perez and Gasly to join Norris and co on the grid for Sunday's Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly will make their F1 Esports debuts this weekend in Sunday's Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in what will be the penultimate race in the series, after it was announced on Tuesday that the Formula 1 season will be starting in July.
Racing Point driver Perez and AlphaTauri's Gasly will join Virtual Grand Prix regulars Antonio Giovinazzi, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi and George Russell for the race around the virtual Baku Circuit on Codemasters' F1 2019 game, with Russell looking to follow up his dominant win in the Monaco race two weeks ago with another victory here.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – making his fourth virtual GP appearance – will be racing for Alfa Romeo once again, and he will be joined on the grid by fellow goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma of AC Milan, who will drive for Italian team AlphaTauri alongside Gasly.
And this week the Premier League will be represented by Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte who will make his F1 Esports debut for Renault, partnering Renault Sport Academy driver and F3 racer Oscar Piastri.
YouTube racer Jimmy Broadbent is also returning to the grid and will race alongside Perez for Racing Point, while former Dakar Rally World Champion Matthias Walkner partners Alex Albon at Red Bull. See the full grid below.
Full grid for the Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix
|Alfa Romeo||Antonio Giovinazzi||Thibaut Courtois|
|AlphaTauri||Pierre Gasly||Gianluigi Donnarumma|
|FDA Hublot Esports Team||Charles Leclerc||Enzo Fittipaldi|
|Haas||Pietro Fittipaldi||Louis Deletraz|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Ben Daly (Tiametmarduk)|
|Mercedes||Esteban Gutierrez||Anthony Davidson|
|Racing Point||Sergio Perez||Jimmy Broadbent|
|Red Bull||Alex Albon||Matthias Walkner|
|Renault||Oscar Piastri||Aymeric Laporte|
|Williams||George Russell||Nicholas Latifi|
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said: “We are immensely proud of the Virtual Grand Prix series, which allowed us to bring Formula 1 to fans around the world, in a time when actual racing was not possible.
"We are very grateful to the teams and drivers that have taken part in the series to date and look forward to ending the series with a bang in the coming weeks as we all gear up to kick off the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship season in Austria."
How to watch
Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 1700 UTC (1800 BST) on Sunday, June 7.
The broadcast, which will be available here on F1.com and the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo, Huya and Facebook channels, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes, with a qualifying session followed by a 26-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, in the US on ESPN, and FOX Sports Asia across Southeast Asia.
Before the main event the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition race will precede the Virtual Grand Prix. It will begin at 1600 UTC (1700 BST) and will be broadcast on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as selected TV broadcasters.
The Formula 2 Virtual Racing event, featuring F2 and F3 drivers, will also be live on the same channels, and here on F1.com, from 1500 UTC (1600 BST).