F1 has noted that five drivers from the current grid will take part in this weekend’s Vietnam Virtual Grand Prix (Virtual GP), with a cricketer joining in too.
The first Virtual GP at Bahrain had only McLaren’s Lando Norris and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, with the rest of the grid being crowded by ESports racers and stars from other sports along with a global singer. But for this weekend’s Vietnam race, five from 2020 will race.
Norris and Latifi will be joined by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon and Williams’ George Russell. Additionally, F1 has confirmed that former racer and commentator Johnny Herbert will return for his second Virtual GP.
The other big name from outside F1 is England cricketer Ben Stokes, who is a Red Bull athlete and won the BBC Personality of the Year award. The rest of the names will be revealed as we get closer to the event on Sunday night.
They will play the F1 2019 game, which does not feature the Hanoi circuit. They will use the Melbourne circuit instead with the Virtual GP going live on their social channels at 20:00 BST. It will be live on Sky Sports as well other broadcasters who show the races.
The race will pan out for about one hour and thirty minutes and will be followed by a F1 ESports Pro Exhibition race featuring the gamers from 21:30 BST. It is expected to run for one hour and will be aired on their social channels and selected TV platforms.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and ESports said: “Following the massive success of the F1 Esports Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix, we are thrilled to be able to come back online again this weekend to provide fans with some racing action.
“A star-studded grid is shaping up with our F1 stars – past, present and future – as well as huge names in sports and entertainment. We look forward to providing some light relief through esports as we all navigate through these difficult times together, where our fans can engage with our sport in a different but familiar way. “
UPDATE: While it is not confirmed by F1 so far, Leclerc shared that his younger brother Arthur will also be part of the Virtual GP. He could be the second driver for Ferrari.
UPDATE 2: While F1 confirmed five F1 drivers for this weekend’s Virtual GP, Alfa Romeo has noted that Antonio Giovinazzi will also be racing at Albert Park with Herbert at his side. He joins Haas duo Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz to make it 11 names.
UPDATE 3: Following Giovinazzi’s announcement, F1 named Jenson Button to compete this weekend for McLaren alongside Norris.
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