Ferrari's Charles Leclerc performed dominantly as he won his Formula One esports debut on Sunday, at the virtual Vietnam Grand Prix. England's World Cup-winning cricketer, Ben Stokes, finished last in the virtual race.
The 28-lap virtual Grand Prix was the second race of the series organised with the intention of providing entertainment for Formula One fans who have been missing real-life action for months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The deadly outbreak has halted most major sports events worldwide.
The inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix was originally scheduled to take place last Sunday, but that couldn't be possible. Instead, a virtual race was organised where 20 remote drivers joined from their homes to compete.
The virtual GP was staged on a digital version of Melbourne's famous Albert Park, since the Hanoi street circuit isn't available, as of now, on the official Formula 1 video game.
Leclerc, who was playing from his home in Monaco, lifted the title. After he finally decided to participate in the event, Leclerc admitted to having practised the racing simulation game for five hours every day over the past week.
Leclerc led throughout the race, from start to finish, and reached the finishing line 14.094 seconds clear of Danish Formula 2 driver Christian Lundgaard. Williams driver George Russell occupied the third spot.
Leclerc's brother, 19-year-old Arthur finished fourth for Ferrari. Italian Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi finished fifth.
After winning the race, Reuters quoted Leclerc saying, "It was unbelievably hard. We are sitting on a chair, so there is not even the G-force we have in a real car, but I am sweating like crazy. The muscles are not hurting but the concentration and everything, I've been sweating a lot."
The 22-year-old Monegasque won two races last year, which happened to be his first season with Ferrari.
Stokes finished behind Johnny Herbert, a retired F1 driver. China's Guanyu Zhou, who had won the first virtual race for Renault on a Bahrain layout, did not compete this time.
The next official virtual race will be the Chinese Grand Prix that is scheduled on April 19.
Formula One is eager to restart its real-life racing calendar at the earliest, but with the current pandemic situation degrading fast, that doesn't seem to be happening soon.