The FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy) Hublot Esports Team came away from the Virtual Monaco GP with two podium finishes in the pair of races run on the Monaco track layout, as part of the “We Race On” initiative set up by Formula 1 on the weekends when real Grands Prix were due to be held this year in a season which now looks likely to start on 5 July in Austria.
Qualifying. The starting grid for the celebrity race was decided on a very wet track and produced a surprising result with Pietro Fittipaldi taking pole for Haas ahead of George Russell in the Williams. The two FDA Hublot Esports Team cars were in the hands of local boys and brothers, Charles and Arthur Leclerc. They lined up on the third row, with the younger ahead of the elder.
Start. There was quite a bit of confusion going into the first braking point with several comings-together and spins. Arthur Leclerc came out of the chaos best, to run second behind Russell. Charles was fifth at the end of the opening lap and on the next one, he passed Pietro Fittipaldi to go fourth and then David Schumacher to go third with a thrilling move at Portier. The FDA Hublot Esports Team drivers made their pit stops on laps 10 and 11, rejoining in the midfield. Coming off worst was Arthur who was involved in a collision with Lando Norris and slipped down the order.
Closing stages. Once the run of pitstops was over, Charles was second with Arthur third, but in the closing stages, the two Monegasque drivers had to contend with a hard-charging Esteban Gutierrez (Mercedes) who, thanks to much fresher tyres having made a second stop, managed to pass Arthur and Charles, provoking yet another collision with the latter. George Russell won the race ahead of the Mexican and Charles, while in the end, Arthur had to give best to Alex Albon in the Red Bull, thus having to settle for fifth.
Pro Exhibition Race. Getting the afternoon programme underway as usual was the Pro Exhibition Race for professional sim drivers. Qualifying produced a mixed bag for the FDA Hublot Esports Team with David Tonizza taking a fantastic pole position, while Enzo Bonito found it impossible to go better than 14th. In the race, David lost a place at the start to Brendon Leigh (Mercedes), but when the majority of the field pitted on lap 3, Tonizza stayed out one lap longer. The Italian gained a place on Leigh, but found himself behind Racing Point’s Lucas Blakely. The FDA Hublot Esports Team driver tried everything to pass his rival, but in the end he had to settle for second place. It was an unlucky race for Enzo Bonito, hit by another driver and knocked out of the race.