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Russell takes dominant victory in Baku VGP.

Can anyone stop George Russell?

George Russell has taken a hat-trick of victories after dominating from pole in today’s Azerbaijan Virtual GP.

Baku virtually hosted the penultimate VGP after the recent confirmation that F1 will return at the beginning of next month in Austria. George Russell took pole with a stunning time of 1:36.8, almost 0.3 ahead of Alex Albon. Formula 2 racing driver Louis Deletraz rounded out the top 3 while Virtual GP regulars Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc had a dreadful session, finishing 9th and 10th respectively.

Race Report:

It was a superb start for the Williams car of George Russell, who expertly built a gap from Albon, crucially ensuring that the Thai-British driver would not get a DRS advantage. A large incident in turn 1 collected many drivers, including Charles Leclerc, who dropped to the back of the grid. Gutierrez and Norris were the big winners early on, making their way up to 3rd and 4th respectively, positions they maintained for the majority of the event.

The race soon became a game of strategy, initiated by Albon pitting for the hard compound on lap 6. Russell immediately reacted, switching to mediums a lap later. Tensions were high as Albon attempted to reel in Russell, who was starting to worry about the durability of his tires, mentioning his fears to his race engineer over the radio. But, on lap 23, Albon picked up a 3 second time penalty giving Russell a net 7 second advantage.

However, Russell remained unchallenged and crossed the line over 4 seconds (7s including penalties) ahead of the Red Bull, while Esteban Gutierrez took his first VGP podium in third, bringing his Mercedes 4 seconds ahead of Lando Norris, who also took his best result of the VGP series. Charles Leclerc was not able to recover from his early incident, picking up multiple penalties throughout the race before finishing 14th. Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly made their VGP debuts, but both finished out of the top 10.

The final virtual grand prix will take place next week at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Full Race Standings:

  1. George Russell
  2. Alexander Albon
  3. Esteban Gutierrrez
  4. Lando Norris
  5. Oscar Pistari
  6. Pietro Fittipaldi
  7. Nicholas Latifi
  8. Ben Daly (Tiametmarduk)
  9. Anthony Davidson
  10. Jimmy Broadbent
  11. Pierre Gasly
  12. Thibaut Courtois
  13. Enzo Fittipaldi
  14. Charles Leclerc
  15. Sergio Perez
  16. Gianluigi Donnarumma
  17. Louis Deletraz
  18. Aymeric Laporte

Feature Image Credit: SkySportsF1.com

 

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