Norris and Verstappen headline esports events that replace the Australian Grand Prix
While the majority of global motorsport events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world of esports stepped forward to fill the void, with Max Verstappen and Lando Norris both taking part in separate events.
Verstappen competed in an event organised by 'The Race' on rFactor 2, a simulator widely regarded as the most accurate publicly available. With BBC Formula 1 radio commentary team Jack Nicholls and Jolyon Palmer, the former Renault driver, lending their talents, the event felt close to a real world race meeting.
Divided into three heats ahead of a longer final at the Nurburgring Grand Prix track, the professional drivers, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Antonio Felix da Costa and Simon Pagenaud, alongside Verstappen, showed that they are more adept to real world racing than competing in a virtual world - the number of crashes in eight laps possibly exceeding that of an entire Formula 1 season.
Jernej Simoncic, Formula Sim Racing world championship winner in 2019, took the overall win after progressing from the heat for professional sim racing drivers.
Lando Norris was the headline driver in the Veloce esports 'Not the AusGP' event. The event was a half-length Grand Prix with drivers that included Stoffel Vandoorne, Esteban Gutierrez and Norris alongside professional sim drivers and even the Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois.
The race was won by Alfa Romeo Formula 1 esports driver Daniel Bereznay, while Norris finished sixth.
Known for showcasing his sim racing exploits on social media, the highlights reel of the McLaren driver's race made for entertaining viewing, including a mistake at the start of the formation lap.
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