Marcus Armstrong will be making his sim-racing Formula 1 debut this weekend in the return of the Virtual GP series.
When the start of the 2020 F1 season was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, series promoters launched an official Esport series featuring a handful of professional drivers and up-and-coming juniors.
This year, a three-round mini championship will run over the next three weeks. All ten teams will be competing with a prize fund of $100,000, which will be given to ten different charities according to where the teams finish in the classification.
Armstrong will be a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy Esports Team for this weekend’s opener at Austria. His teammate for the race will be Arthur Leclerc, younger brother of Ferrari’s full-time F1 driver Charles.
It will be the first time Armstrong has contested a sim-racing championship of high calibre. He also becomes the third Kiwi driver selected to participate in the virtual F1 series. Andre Heimgartner and Liam Lawson had stints in the series last year.
Of the full-timers, Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will join Alex Albon, for the first race on Monday.
Haas will field Pietro Fittipaldi — who drove in the final two races for the team at the end of last season — alongside his brother Enzo.
Stoffel Vandoorne will race for Mercedes while there is an all-F2 line-up at Alpine with Christian Lundgaard and 2020 Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri making up the driver roster.
You can catch all the action live through F1’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels from 7 am NZT Monday, February 1.