While the real-life FIA Formula 2 Championship is still to rest due to the recent Coronavirus concerns, PREMA Racing had a chance to get back in action, albeit virtually, and took home dominant results at the digitally-recreated Bahrain venue.
The Italian squad lined-up for the opening round of the championship's official eSports league with a brand-new pairing. With drivers back at home dealing with different timezones and sometimes with connection woes, the team selected Arthur Leclerc and Frederik Vesti for the event, ran using the most recent Formula 1 official game, F1 2019.
The Monegasque, who is slated to make his Formula Regional European Championship debut later this year, delivered a dominating performance from pole and won the 16-lap feature race with a large margin. Then he rounded out a perfect day with another win in the 5-lap race 2 dash, where he powered through the reverse grid. He completed his score for the weekend with two fastest laps.
Reigning Formula Regional European Champion Vesti finished race 1 in 12th after early contact and a thorough fight in the midpack, then rebounded to a brilliant fifth place in race 2.
While the team looks forward to a gradual return to action in the coming weeks, the virtual series will be back underway in one week at digital Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
# 9 - Arthur Leclerc
"It was a really good day! First of all, I think what made the difference in race 1 was the consistency. We had a really good pace and I ran alone for all the race which helped as well. In Race 2 I managed not to crash in the first few laps and then I had really fun overtaking moments, I enjoyed it quite a lot. I really hope to race again in this series in the future."
# 10 - Frederik Vesti
"Qualifying was pretty decent. I didn't really get a perfect lap but I downloaded the game yesterday and needed time to get used to it. In race 1 I had a good start but I was hit from behind and spun, losing a lot of positions. It was a bit messy from that point and I finished P12. In race 2 I had a great first lap and a much better second and third lap, moving up to P4 before ending up in P5. It was a really fun event and I want to thank Prema for the call!”