Russell, Albon and Latifi among Virtual GP entrants

Russell, Albon and Latifi among Virtual GP entrants

Formula 1

Russell, Albon and Latifi among Virtual GP entrants

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Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will be joined by Alex Albon, Pietro Fittipaldi and a number of junior drivers for the first race of the Virtual Grand Prix championship on Sunday.

Formula 1 is putting on a new Virtual GP series over three consecutive weeks — starting in Austria but also racing at Silverstone and Interlagos — with a prize fund available for charity. Williams is the only team so far to commit to its full regular driver line-up of Russell and Latifi for this first event, while Red Bull will use Albon despite dropping him from a race seat over the winter.

Albon will be partnered by Red Bull KTM factory rider and MXGP world champion Jeffrey Herlings, but there are a number of junior drivers also getting involved in the event.

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, while Ferrari also has a family connection with Arthur Leclerc paired with Formula 2 driver Marcus Armstrong.

Stoffel Vandoorne will race for Mercedes while there is an all-F2 line-up at Alpine as Christian Lundgaard and 2020 Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri will represent the brand. There’s also room for former F1 driver Tonio Liuzzi at AlphaTauri, with a number of seats yet to be confirmed.

The 10 constructors will nominate their chosen charity and all will receive a significant donation based on their final finishing position as a team over the three events. A sprint race using professional Esports drivers will decide the grid before a 50% grand prix.

Sunday’s opening event will be streamed via ESPN3 at 1 p.m. ET, as well as on F1’s official YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels.

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