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Guanyu Zhou seals F2 Virtual victory after tussle with last week’s winner Arthur Leclerc

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Guanyu Zhou followed up his win in the first F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix with victory in the second round of F2 Virtual Racing on Sunday afternoon after a robust battle with Arthur Leclerc.

Leclerc, younger brother of Ferrari driver Charles, went into the race as the favourite, having dominated the opening round at a virtual Bahrain circuit last week when he claimed victory in the feature race and the sprint race as well as both pole positions, and both fastest laps, resulting in a perfect score of 48 points.

And in this weekend’s event, held at the virtual Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the F2 cars in Codemasters’ F1 2019 game, Leclerc again started on pole position for the 19 lap feature race, topping a grid that also featured 2012 GP2 Series Champion Davide Valsecchi, Juan Pablo Montoya's son Sebastian, and W Series driver Sophia Floersch.

But Renault Academy driver Zhou, who won the first F1 Virtual Grand Prix on the Bahrain Circuit in March, started second on the grid and he and Leclerc soon began pulling away.

Zhou, who races for UNI-Virtuosi Racing in Formula 2, was harrying and weaving behind Leclerc but was unable to find a way past, until Lap 6 when he pulled off a very ambitious move to get past the Monegasque to take the lead.

Leclerc immediately fought back and was in front again at the following corner, but within seconds, Zhou had hit Leclerc from behind, spinning him round and out of the lead.

Thereafter Zhou drove a perfect race to seal the victory, while Leclerc – who was down to sixth after being punted off – fought back brilliantly to get back up to second, before a technical issue saw him retire on the very last lap.

In the subsequent sprint race Leclerc again showed his incredible speed by battling up to fifth after starting down in 17th, as former F2 driver Nato Norman took the victory.

In case you missed them, watch both races as they happened in the video below.

And if that has put you in the mood for some more Esports action, don't forget the next Virtual Grand Prix starts at 1700 UTC (1800 BST) right here on F1.com.

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