No Norris on initial Virtual GP entry list

Mark Scott

Seven Formula 1 drivers may be set to become five for the latest Virtual Grand Prix with no sign of Lando Norris or Carlos Sainz on the initial entry list.

Norris has suffered from connection issues in every race so far, while McLaren team-mate Sainz only made his debut in the last round in China. Norris has also been competing in the IndyCar series, winning on debut, and the next round clashes with the Virtual Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, searching for a third win a row, has been confirmed alongside now race regulars George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alex Albon.

The Virtual Grand Prix series mirrors the original Formula 1 schedule but, with no Zandvoort on the 2019 game, fans have decided via social media that the race should take place at Interlagos instead.

The latest race will see the return of England cricket star Ben Stokes and this time he will have some direct competition in the form of Stuart Broad. Also confirmed are AC Milan club captain Alessio Romagnoli and 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg.

“We are all changing the way we do things while the world is like it is and I’m really looking forward to driving with Christian [Lundgaard],” said Solberg.

“His father Henrik and I competed against each other when we were younger, so I’m happy my teammate is coming from a good rallying family. Like everything I will give this 110% and do my best. When we do something, we do it with just one aim: to win.”

F1’s head of Esports, Julian Tan, added: “We are delighted that so many fans are watching and engaging with the F1 Esports Virtual Grands Prix. The viewership continues to go from strength to strength, outlining the growing success of the races and the wider potential of Formula 1 in Esports.

“Furthermore, we are thrilled to welcome more stars from outside the world of F1, to complement our strong F1 and motorsport driver grid, and use this opportunity to link up with other sports as we all stand together to give fans something to cheer about during these difficult times.”

The live action gets underway at 1700 BST on Sunday, with the race available to watch via Sky F1, YouTube and Twitch.

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