Leclerc's debut Esports victory "even tougher than real life"
Charles Leclerc has suggested his victory on his F1 Esports debut was "even tougher than real life".
Ferrari driver Leclerc was one of six F1 stars to take part in the latest Virtual Grand Prix, set around Melbourne's Albert Park.
Leclerc, who won F1 races in Belgium and Italy during his maiden season with Ferrari last year, enjoyed a comfortable victory by 14 seconds from Danish Renault junior Christian Lundgaard, while Williams' George Russell was third.
Looking back on his success at the end of the 29-lap race, Leclerc said: “I believe it’s maybe even tougher than real life. Because we have the feelings of the car in real life, but here it’s a lot more mental.
"We are sitting on a chair so there is not the g-force we have in a real car, but I’m sweating like crazy. The muscles are not hurting but the concentration and everything, I’ve been sweating a lot and it’s very hard."
The race employed the F1 2019 game, so was forced to turn to Australia for its latest event on a weekend when F1 should have been racing for the first time around Vietnam's Hanoi street circuit, which is not on the platform.
Take a tour of the Hanoi track here with Mercedes test and reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez.
The next F1 Esports event is due to take place on April 19 around China's Shanghai International Circuit.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.