MUST-SEE: Highlights and best bits as Albon and Leclerc stage epic battle for Virtual GP win


Charles Leclerc's Virtual Grand Prix winning streak is over – but only after the Ferrari driver staged a titanic battle for victory with Alex Albon in Sunday night's race.

The Monegasque qualified down in sixth, but quickly made his way up to second place on lap 1, whereafter he and Red Bull driver Albon duked it out for the lead for lap after lap of the Interlagos circuit on Codemasters' F1 2019 game.

Watch all the highlights of the race in the video above, and read on for all the key moments you have missed...

Virtual Grand Prix Interlagos top

The Virtual Grand Prix at Interlagos - Top 10

Chaos at the start

Mercedes test driver Stoffel Vandoorne was the man who hooked it all up in qualifying to take pole position for this, the fourth race in F1's Virtual Grand Prix series.

But the Belgian's joy was shortlived as he was in trouble within seconds of the lights going out to start the race. He may have taken a hit from behind as his Mercedes speared left and into the unfortunate George Russell, who had started from second on the grid in his Williams.

Vandoorne eventually recovered well to finish fourth, but it was a case of what might have been for the former McLaren F1 racer.

That battle for the win

Albon and Leclerc were two beneficiaries of Vandoorne's chaotic start, with the former racing into the lead and the latter not far behind.

And from there the two of them fought an incredible battle for the win out front, ahead of the rest of the pack. For lap after lap they passed and re-passed each other, neither able to get away and pull out a lead on the other.

Even with Leclerc pitting early for hard tyres compared to Albon's later stop for mediums, nothing could separate them as the lead continued to change hands throughout the race.

Leclerc was ultimately handed a 3 second time penalty for one too many track limits infractions, but that didn't stop the action, with Albon ultimately emerging as the victor. Make no mistake, this battle was the F1 Esports equivalent of that legenadary fight between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux at the 1979 French Grand Prix.

"I was shaking afterwards," admitted Albon. And he can't have been the only one...

Virtual Grand Prix, Interlagos: Leclerc and Albon battle for victory

The fight for cricket's honour

One of the subplots in this race was the presence of England cricket team mates Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad, with the latter lining up for AlphaTauri – and as you can see from his video message before the race, he had but one aim once the lights went out...

So did Broad do his team proud? Well, not if we go by his own definition: he finished 17th, four places down the batting order from Stokes. Maybe for a man more used to playing at The Oval he'd be better at IndyCars...

F1 driver watch

We had six current Formula 1 drivers competing in this race and all put in a pretty decent showing as they get to grips more and more with racing on the F1 2019 game.

As mentioned Albon took the win, with Leclerc ultimately third after his penalty was applied, behind George Russell in second. In the other Williams Nicholas Latifi ended the race 9th after he was sent spinning into the wall by Antonio Giovinazzi who retired from the race as a result.

Meanwhile Lando Norris rounded out the top ten after a slew of penalties – including one for a jump start – hampered his race.

And one driver from a completely different discipline who also warrants a mention is World Rally Champion Petter Solberg, who finished just outside the top 10 in 12th for Renault.

And Arthur Leclerc stars in the F2 race

Charles Leclerc wasn't the only member of his family making headlines in Esports racing on Sunday, with his younger brother Arthur – a member of the Ferrari Young Driver academy – also on track in the first round of F2 Virtual Racing.

The young racer was in sensational form for the event at a virtual Bahrain International Circuit, claiming victory in both the Feature Race and the Sprint Race, as well as pole position and fastest lap in both races, to net a perfect score. Click here to watch all the action from that event as it happened, and here for a full race report.

Meanwhile, the next Virtual Grand Prix will be taking place next Sunday, May 10th, at 1700 UTC (1800 BST) on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, live right here on – and if it's got even half the action we saw from this event, you won't want to miss it!

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


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