Williams driver George Russell on Sunday chalked up a fifth successive win in a virtual British Grand Prix that also saw a female gamer line up for the first time in an official Formula One e-sports race.
The Briton, who had to miss last weekend’s first race of the virtual Austria-Britain-Brazil triple header, beat Red Bull’s Alexander Albon with Ferrari reserve driver Callum Ilott rounding off the podium.
French gamer Alethea Boucq, who has her own simulation racing channel on YouTube, competed for the Alpine (Renault) team and finished 15th.
Russell won last year’s e-sports virtual grand prix series, shown live on F1’s digital platforms and broadcast partners, after finishing with four straight wins.
The series, with gamers and real race drivers competing remotely on the Formula One video game, aims to provide some entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic and before the F1 season starts in Bahrain on March 28.
Albon, who lost his race seat with Red Bull at the end of last season and is now a reserve, crossed the line first, but a time penalty dropped the Thai to second.
“I wanted to win it fair and square, but Alex just did me at the end. I think it was a win-win for the GR/Albono duo,” Russell said.
Russell, who shone on the real racetrack last season as a stand-in for Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain after his compatriot tested positive for COVID-19, started fifth.
Double F1 e-sports champion Brendon Leigh had secured pole position for Ferrari in the professional gamers sprint race that determined the grid for the real drivers and celebrities.
The races have a charity prize fund with teams’ winnings going to the causes of their choice.
‘ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE’: A US gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Larry Nassar called his suicide ‘an admission of guilt’ A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar on Thursday killed himself, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, Michigan, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, state police said. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Michigan Attorney General Dana
Constructing intricate models with Lego has become an important part of preparation for French Open champion Iga Swiatek and the 19-year-old Pole is confident her game is shaping up for success on all kinds of surfaces. The 19-year-old Pole last year became the youngest woman to win the Roland Garros title since Monica Seles in 1992 and on Saturday she picked up the second trophy of her career at the Adelaide International. Swiatek has often attributed her success to her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who has helped the Polish player improve her mental strength and process her thoughts during intense matches. Work on
BARTY PARTY OVER: After crashing out on Wednesday, Ashleigh Barty pulled out of the Qatar Open with a left leg injury, and hit back at Australians’ unrealistic expectations Coco Gauff and Jil Teichmann yesterday advanced to the Adelaide International semi-finals after three-set wins on the Memorial Drive hard courts. The 16-year-old Gauff beat Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Teichmann defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 ,6-7 (8/10), 7-5. Gauff has won five straight matches in Adelaide, including two in qualifying, since her second-round loss to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open. She and Rogers had an extended rally in the ninth game of the third set, which Gauff won after setting up game point with a cross-court return. Gauff next faces second-seeded Belinda Bencic, who beat Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-4. Teichmann had five
RUTHLESS FORM: The 19-year-old Iga Swiatek downed world No. 12 Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-2 to claim the second title of her career, after winning Roland Garros last year French Open champion Iga Swiatek yesterday crushed world No. 12 Belinda Bencic in straight sets to claim the Adelaide International at Memorial Drive. The 19-year-old Pole was in ruthless form as she downed Bencic 6-2, 6-2 to claim the second title of her career. Swiatek burst onto the tennis scene at Roland Garros last year when she claimed the French Open crown, defeating then world No. 6 Sofia Kenin in the final. She started strongly against Bencic and never eased up, breaking her Swiss opponent twice in each set to wrap up a comfortable win. Both players were untroubled, holding their opening service games