HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the best bits from Russell vs Latifi in the #ChallengeWilliams event


With Formula 1 still on hold sim racing has taken centre stage, allowing the drivers to get their competitive fix, and giving fans some action to watch while they wait for the Grand Prix season to begin.

And on Sunday night George Russell and Nicholas Latifi took to their sim rigs and battled it out over a series of challenges on Codemasters' brilliant F1 2019 game in the F1 Esports #ChallengeWilliams event.

You can watch all the highlights from the session in the video above, but in case you missed it, here are the key moments...

Russell races to victory in Race 1

The Williams driver showed just why he is so highly rated by taking a dominant victory in the first challenge: a five lap race around the Suzuka circuit against Latifi and Williams Driver Academy youngsters Dan Ticktum and Jack Aitken.

All four were competing in the title-winning FW14B car that Nigel Mansell raced to championship glory in 1992, but in this race it was Russell who tamed the beast to win by over three seconds from Ticktum, with Aitken in third and Latifi fourth, who dropped to last place from second after a spin on the final lap.

#ChallengeWilliams - Russell Wins race 1

Poulter fails to get his revenge in the Throwback Challenge

PGA golf star and massive F1 fan Ian Poulter was still sore after a school boy error saw him miss out on a win against Lando Norris in the our last #Challenge event two weeks ago, and this week he was determined to put things right in the second event of the evening, the Throwback Challenge.

Racing at Silverstone against a grid of guest stars including Poulter, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, W Series racer Beitske Visser and F3 driver Bart Horsten, Russell and Latifi were challenged with emulating Nigel Mansell’s famous British Grand Prix win in 1987.

Sadly for Poulter, things didn’t go as planned and a spin on lap 1 left him right at the back of the pack. “I was barged off!” he complained afterwards, but the damage was done and he could only finish second last. F3 racer Horsten took the victory, with Latifi second and Russell third.

READ MORE: ‘You get the same buzz as racing for real’ – Lando Norris on the thrill of sim racing

Best overtake of the day

He may not have won, but Russell pulled off a terrific double overtake on Latifi and guest player Aarave on lap 4 going into the final corner. It was a move that Mansell himself would have been proud of, but in the end wasn't enough to help the young Brit to the win this time.

Most blatant attempt at cheating of the day

The virtual stewards wouldn’t have needed to watch too many replays of Russell’s astonishing lunge on his team mate in the final event of the evening to issue him with a penalty.

An online vote dictated the 25% distance Fan Race would be held at a very wet Spa Francorchamps, as Latifi, Russell, Ticktum and Aitken took on 16 lucky fans on the track.

The two Williams F1 drivers started mid-pack and were tasked with finishing first or second to pick up points, but it all went wrong within seconds of the start as both of them had spins on lap 1, dropping them both to the back.

Thereafter they drove superbly in atrocious conditions (think the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix) to climb up the order to third (Latifi) and fourth (Russell) by the final lap. But it was on that final lap that Russell launched his car over the kerbs at the chicane and rammed Latifi’s car head on.

The move didn’t work out: Latifi ended up missing out on a podium, dropping to fourth, while the stewards immediately applied a time penalty to Russell, dropping him down to sixth.

Asked afterwards if it had been accidental, a grinning Russell replied: “Of course it wasn’t – I went for it!"

All of which meant Latifi triumphed on the night, taking three points to Russell's two, across the three challenges. Though that still leaves Latifi behind McLaren's Lando Norris, who scored five in the #ChallengeLando event two weeks ago.

We will have more Esports action next Sunday, when a host of F1 drivers, including Russell and Latifi, will be contesting our next Virtual Grand Prix, around the brilliant Interlagos track in Brazil. Watch and our social channels for details this week.

READ MORE: Charles Leclerc on taking virtual racing by storm - and why he can't wait to race Vettel


Coming Up

Coming Up


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