Perez and Gasly join Virtual Grand Prix grid in Baku


Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly will make their Virtual Grand Prix debut this weekend in Baku, boosting the number of current F1 drivers on the grid to eight.

The Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be the penultimate round of Formula 1's official Esports series, with an online finale set to be held at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 14.

The Racing Point and AlphaTauri sim rookies will compete against the series core group of F1 chargers that includes Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell who will targeting a virtual hat-trick in Baku.

Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas will be racing in Sunday's event.

"I’m excited to give the Esports competition a go," said Perez. "It’s definitely got people talking and, looking at the races, they’re very entertaining to watch – sometimes maybe even more so than the real thing!

"It’s really amazing to see what the top drivers are able to do and, of course, they are professionals in their own right, so we can’t expect to be on their level straight away.

"But to be honest, I’m really missing racing right now, so I’m just looking forward to getting back to competing and seeing what I can do!"


As usual, the field will also include a few celebrity racers, with Man City defender Aymeric Laporte racing for Renault alongside F3 hopedul Oscar Piastri, while AC Milan goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma has been added to AlphaTauri's line-up.

Regular competitor, Madrid's Thibaut Courtois will once again race for Alfa Romeo alongside Giovinazzi.

Finally, Red Bull Racing will welcome in its ranks former Dakar Rally-raid champion Matthias Walkner.

"We are immensely proud of the Virtual Grand Prix series, which allowed us to bring Formula 1 to fans around the world, in a time when actual racing was not possible," said Julian Tan, F1’s head of digital business initiative and Esports.

"We are very grateful to the teams and drivers that have taken part in the series to date and look forward to ending the series with a bang in the coming weeks as we all gear up to kick off the 2020 Formula 1 world championship season in Austria.

"Great momentum has been gathered as part of our Virtual Grands Prix Series and we are excited to build on this momentum in our esports strategy going forward."

The Virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix will kick off on Sunday at 6pm UK time (1pm EST - 7pm CET), with the action streamed live on F1's YouTube channel and on Twitch.

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