As headlines go, it’s business as usual for the Virtual Grand Prix series. Russell domination continues. 

But early on that looked under threat for the first time. As a result of the eSports drivers sprint race qualifying format, George started in 14th.

But a first lap incident allowed George to slip his way into third and then the win seemed inevitable from then on.

There were changes to the lineups. Mercedes returned with Moto2 rider Jake Dixon and INEOS cyclist Rohan Dennis.

Flowstreet, who subbed for Russell two weeks ago was subbing for Nicholas Latifi who sat out this weeks race at Interlagos.

After the eSports race, Nicholas Longuet for Alpine put another newcomer, French comedian Arnaud Tsamere on pole for his first race.

Brendon Leigh had another good performance solidifying another high start for Arthur Leclerc.

Alvaro Carreton had a difficult sprint race and put George Russell in 14th on the grid.

Leclerc took the lead off the line but into turn one, he was tapped by Flowstreet who started fourth. Both drivers spun allowing for a bit of chaos into turn one.

George Russell who started way down the field was able to assess the situation ahead quickly and slipped past everyone to third behind Arnaud Tsamere and Dino Beganovic.

By the end of lap two, Russell was in the lead.

Mega.

From there on in, he led until the finish keeping Enzo Fittipaldi at arms length who finished second and Alex Albon in third.

Alex Albon pulls off a copy of hive real life move on Sebastian Vettel in 2019 as he passes Dino Beganovic © FOM/Codemasters

Albon was favourite with a decent starting position in sixth and winning in Brazil during the Virtual GP in the first lockdowns.

But the first lap shenanigans held him up and he had to fight up to the podium places where he struggled to pass Dino Beganovic.

Once he did get by, Russell and Fittipaldi had waltzed away and it stayed in those positions to the end.

With the Fittipaldi brothers (including winning in Austria) finishing in high results across all three races, the charity prize of $20,000 went to Haas’ chosen charity.

Beganovic finished in fourth ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi and Jake Dixon, who benefitted from a penalty for Arthur Leclerc.

Jimmy Broadbent, Tsamere and Luca Salvadori rounded out the top 10.

Thibaut Courtois was just behind an hour after he finished playing in goal for Real Madrid, scoring a clean sheet against Valencia.

That marked the end of the Virtual GP series for 2021 as car launch season starts tomorrow with McLaren launching the MCL35M at 7pm UK time with a month until testing in Bahrain.

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