Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc enjoyed a sensational start to his esports career after dominating the 2020 virtual Australian Grand Prix to win by more than 14 seconds.
The Monte Carlo native was absent from the opening virtual grand prix but was convinced to join the craze for the second edition, quickly adapting to the rigours of the virtual world.
Formula One starlet Leclerc, 22, finished qualifying in second behind Renault academy driver Christian Lundgaard, but he was promoted to pole after the latter was handed a five-second penalty.
He never surrendered that position and emerged triumphant from his home in Monaco. Leclerc had no experience playing on the 2019 F1 video game.
However, he said after his win that a manic spell of practice prepared him for the challenge, per Autosport.com:
“It was unbelievably hard. 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.”
Leclerc also told BBC Sport he caused too much noise and irritated his girlfriend during that week of practice, so he was forced to tone down his mannerisms for Sunday’s race:
“I was very silent, so my girlfriend is very happy. 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.”
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