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Ferrari

Virtual F2 Race: Arthur Leclerc fifth in the chaos in Barcelona

Maranello 10 May 2020

The second round of the Virtual Formula 2 Race featured two chaotic and closely contested races at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. Taking part were two Ferrari Driver Academy students: Arthur Leclerc, due to be racing in Formula Regional this year and Callum Ilott, who is due to race in the actual FIA Formula 2 series. Things did not go well for either man today, even if there was plenty of action. 

Feature Race. Arthur Leclerc was on pole at the wheel of the Prema Powerteam car, while Callum Ilott, driving for UNI-Virtuosi Racing, started from the mid-field. At the start of the 19 lap race, Leclerc got the best start, followed by China’s Guan Yu Zhou, the other UNI-Virtuosi Racing driver. Zhou, the winner of the Virtual Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bahrain quickly closed on the Monegasque and they had a great scrap, passing and repassing each other. However, the outcome didn’t go in Arthur’s favour as on lap 6 he was spun around. Zhou got a penalty but still won the race, while Leclerc had fought his way back to second place, but on the last lap, he suffered a technical problem that put him out of the game. Callum managed some good passing move in the early stages, but then dropped back having been hit by another car while they were duelling. The Brit therefore decided to run as long a stint as possible on the hard tyres to try and be in good shape to attack at the end on soft tyres. Unfortunately, his strategy came to nothing after he went off the track on the lap before he was due to pit and he finished eleventh.

Sprint Race. In the short race, just five laps, Arthur again lit up the race, starting from 17th and penultimate place on the grid to be eighth already at the end of the opening lap. With three laps remaining he got as high as fifth. The win went to France’s Norman Nato (DAMS) while Ilott was ninth. The next round is at Monaco in a fortnight’s time.