Record number of Formula 1 drivers to compete in Virtual Monaco GP

Ross Houston
May 24, 2020

Singer-songwriter Luis Fonsi, who broke all-time streaming records with his 2017 hit "Despacito" (slowly), is joining the Formula One fast stream for a virtual Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. But I've raced this tricky bastard in what feels like dozens of racing games: the Gran Turismo games, the Project Cars games, and probably others.

"The Virtual Grand Prix series has proven to be a fantastic live spectacle with over 20m viewers to date, providing fans with some racing entertainment during these challenging times", said Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said.

The half-distance race, with drivers competing from home on simulators, will be around a virtual version of the tight and twisty street circuit on the day the cancelled real grand prix would have happened. These six will however be joined by two debutants in Monaco: Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon.

Williams will again be the only team fielding both of its 2020 drivers, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, while Alex Albon [Red Bull], Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo], Lando Norris [McLaren] and Charles Leclerc [Ferrari], all return to the series.

Ocon lines up with Nicolas Prost, son of four times world champion Alain, for Renault.

Motorcycle rider Luca Salvadori will race for Alpha Taur.

Worldwide surfing star Kai Lenny and Latin American singer Luis Fonsi will also make their Virtual GP debuts.

"We are delighted to announce our strongest line-up of current F1 drivers alongside a star-studded list of global talent from the worlds of sport and entertainment, as we all stand together to put on great racing entertainment around the historic streets of Monaco, virtually".

It is for the first time since 1954 that Monaco Grand Prix will not take place in the F1 season as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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