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Russell dominated virtual Monaco Grand Prix | Bet Regal Sports News

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Russell dominated virtual Monaco Grand Prix

A half-distance virtual race around Monaco with damage disabled was always likely to be won by whoever emerged from Sainte Devote in the lead.

Sure enough, George Russell scored a crushing victory, drawing away from the field with ease while carnage unfolded behind him.

Pietro Fittipaldi put his Haas on pole position in a wet qualifying session but Haas teammate Louis Deletraz lost his front row start to Russell due to a time penalty. Russell took full advantage, passing Fittipaldi around the outside of the first corner after making a marginally better start. Before the first lap was over, Fittipaldi had already incurred a time penalty for corner-cutting. The next time around he lost fourth place to Charles Leclerc, who had shared the third row of the grid with his brother, giving him a good view of his younger sibling’s superb getaway into second place.

The next time around Leclerc forced his way past David Schumacher’s Racing Point at Portier for third place behind his brother. But with Russell edging clear, the Ferrari drivers’ only hope of catching him rested on a strategic gamble.

Meanwhile Esteban Gutierrez was getting stuck into Schumacher, and found a way by at the chicane. But Alexander Albon was lurking, and tried to spring a move on the pair of them into Tabac, which ended with the Red Bull broadside across the track.

On lap nine the older Leclerc headed for the pits, but emerged behind Gutierrez, who had already pitted.

The other Ferrari then emerged from the pits ahead as well, and within a few laps the trio plus Albon had formed a queue behind the yet-to-stop Lando Norris.

The McLaren driver defended as vigorously as the game’s generous damage settings permitted. Eventually Gutierrez spun at the chicane while trying to pass Arthur Leclerc, forcing the Ferrari driver across the chicane where he picked up a penalty, and handing the initiative to the other Leclerc behind them.

After slipping behind the Ferraris, Norris made an ambitious lunge for the inside at Saint Devote, triggering hard contact with the younger Leclerc. The other Ferrari slipped by into third.

While all this was going on, Russell was building a handy lead over Leclerc. With 10 laps to go he made his sole pit stop and motored on to an untroubled victory.

Leclerc clung to second place on fraying tyres until a rapid Gutierrez, who’d pitted a second time for fresh rubbers, appeared in his mirrors. Gutierrez made his move as they rounded the tunnel on the penultimate lap, the pair inevitably made contact, and Gutierrez claimed second as Leclerc picked his Ferrari out of the barrier.

Russell took the chequered flag almost 40 seconds before Gutierrez followed him in. Leclerc recovered to take third place while Albon took his brother for fourth place on the final tour. Fittipaldi had to settle for sixth ahead of Norris, Nicholas Latifi, Deletraz and Schumacher.

Valtteri Bottas came 11th in his first presence in the series, while fellow newcomer Esteban Ocon did not finish. Vitantonio Liuzzi was disqualified for collecting too many penalties.

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