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Late Leclerc penalty gifts Virtual GP victory to Russell

  • Published on 10 May 2020 20:23
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

A late-race penalty for Charles Leclerc ensured George Russell emerged as the victor of the Spanish Virtual Grand Prix.

Russell claimed pole position in the preceding qualifying session, but found himself in fifth place at the end of the first lap, with Esteban Gutierrez taking the lead from the front row.

However, Leclerc made quick wor of Gutierrez and fired into the lead, before Alexander Albon made his way past the Mexican, setting his sights on the Ferrari driver ahead.

On lap 5, Albon made his way into the pits and when Leclerc made his first stop three laps later, he found himself behind the Thai-British racer. 

Albon dropped deeper into the field when he made his second stop on lap 19 for the hard tyre, while Russell closed in on Leclerc, having recovered from his poor start.

The two battled for the lead before Russell received a time penalty, handing the advantage to Leclerc. Russell managed to overtake and stay ahead of Leclerc, but the latter needed to stay within three seconds in order to receive the race win across the line.

On the penultimate lap, Leclerc picked up a three-second time penalty, neutralising the fight and all-but securing the victory for Russell, who crossed the line on the next lap to take the chequered flag.

Gutierrez was third ahead of Albon who managed to make up a handful of positions after his final pit stop.

Nicholas Latifi was fifth, ahead of ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson, who was driving for Mercedes.

Antonio Giovinazzi was seventh despite holding second place early on in the race, while Haas development driver Pietro Fittipaldi followed in eighth.

Antonio Fuoco was ninth in the second Ferrari car and Max Fewtrell took the final point on offer, crossing the line over six seconds in front of Jimmy Broadbent. 

Replies (2)

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  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    Blah Blah Blah I want real racing

    • + 0
    • May 11 2020 - 02:01
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    I really liked the battle Russell went for, it was a really great scrap. He blew up his start but then made a great recovery. This track suited him and... Williams car :D

    • + 0
    • May 12 2020 - 08:26

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