Red Bull driver wins F1 Pro Esports Exhibition race

Red Bull driver wins F1 Pro Esports Exhibition race

Red Bull’s Frederik Rasmussen won the Formula 1 Esports Pro Exhibition Race ahead of Floris Wijers, who took Haas’s maiden podium in the series.

The race at the virtual Albert Park circuit immediately followed F1’s second-ever Virtual Grand Prix, which was dominated by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Rasmussen, who guided Red Bull to the 2019 teams’ title, took pole position for the non-championship exhibition race.

Just as Leclerc did in the Virtual GP, Rasmussen dominated the race and only relinquished the lead when he made his one mandatory pitstop.

The 2019 drivers’ champion David Tonizza started in second place but was demoted to third by Wijers in the pits.

Tonizza hit back in style and overtook Wijers for second just a couple of laps later.

Wijers was handed a three-second time penalty for corner-cutting, but he had a big enough advantage to maintain third place and take his and his team’s first (unofficial) podium in the series.

Nicolas Longuet made the switch from Red Bull to Renault for the 2020 season and finished fourth on his debut for the team.

He mugged Tonizza’s new team-mate Enzo Bonitto for fourth place on the final lap when Bonitto ran wide on the exit of Turn 14.

Racing Point’s Lucas Blakeley picked up fifth place from 19th on the grid, one of the only drivers to start on the medium tyres before switching to the softs.

Series debutant, 16-year-old Michael Romanidis, finished in sixth, ahead of Marcel Kiefer (Toro Rosso) and sim racing veteran Bono Huis on his first appearance for Mercedes.

Huis’s replacement at McLaren, Salih Saltunc finished in ninth place.

Bonitto also picked up a corner-cutting penalty, which was applied post-race and dropped him to 10th.

Two-time series champion Brendon Leigh was the biggest casualty of the opening lap when he spun after minor contact with Bonito and retired.

There are no details of when the 2020 F1 Esports season will commence, or the Pro Draft, which was originally planned for April.

Published at Sun, 05 Apr 2020 21:40:40 +0000

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