Charles Leclerc celebrated his first Esports victory very, very quietly on Sunday night in order to avoid his girlfriend’s wrath.
Having sat out the opening Virtual GP of the year, the Ferrari driver decided eight days ago to get a copy of the 2019 F1 game and enter Sunday night’s Virtual Australian GP.
Leclerc joined the grid along with fellow F1 drivers Lando Norris, Alexander Albon, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi.
Leclerc qualified second but was promoted to pole position when Renault junior Christian Lundgaard was handed a five-place penalty for a collision in qualifying.
Leclerc raced from lights to flag to beat Lundgaard and Russell.
His winning margin was a rather impressive 14 seconds which he will no doubt be wanting when Formula 1’s on-track action gets underway later this year.
— Formula 1® Game (@Formula1game) April 5, 2020
“It was unbelievably hard,” Leclerc said after the race. “I’m sweating like crazy. Great race.
“Eight days ago [I bought the game], but I put quite a lot of hours into it. At least five hours each day.”
But the driver, playing from his home in Monte Carlo, had to celebrate the moment quietly.
“I was very silent, so my girlfriend is very happy,” he told the BBC.
“She is working and the neighbours are pretty quiet late at night – I think that if I was yelling, as I did last time, they would not be happy.”
It was an emotional first win of the season for the Monégasque driver.
. @Charles_Leclerc : "I'm happy. I am so happy. I'm crying."
— Charles Leclerc Fan Page (@LeclercNews) April 5, 2020
Although maybe the emotions were more because he finally succeeded in ending his Twitch stream, on his third attempt.
part 2 of charles leclerc trying to end his stream to wii music pic.twitter.com/FEItHaOTHD
— izzie ✧ (@leclercify) April 5, 2020
The next Virtual GP, the Chinese Grand Prix, will take place in two weeks’ time at the virtual Shanghai circuit.