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The Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix should have taken place this Sunday, but instead it’s time for the last of the 8 Esports Grands Prix, the virtual races that have kept us entertained over the past few months. It’s ending in style at the track named in honour of Gilles Villeneuve.
Alongside Pierre, we have an exceptional wild card driver: Scottish singer and musician Simon Neil. The Biffy Clyro singer songwriter and guitarist has recently got into sim racing in a big way and we’re very happy to have him on board. Simon, who is used to seeing his albums at the top of the charts in the UK has been training hard and constantly to be ready on Sunday night.
Also giving him advice on how to tackle the Gilles Villenueve circuit has been Daniil Kvyat. In return, our Russian driver was given tips on how to improve his playing on the electric guitar, all of it captured on film by the BBC. The VGP will be a totally new experience for the Scotsman and for once, Simon will abandon his guitar while maintaining his performer’s determination at the wheel of our digital car.
Montreal is a semi-permanent track made up of the perimeter roads of the manmade island of Notre Dame. Effectively it’s a street circuit with the walls very close to the track and few run off areas, but top speeds can hit the 300 km/h mark. The layout has 15 corners, some long straights and slow corners, ideal for overtaking and wheel to wheel battles.
Pierre Gasly made his debut in the F1 Virtual GP series last week on the Baku layout and he’ll be putting that experience to good use in the hope of getting a better result. It’s going to be a busy weekend for our French driver, as he is also tackling the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours which runs from 15h00 on Saturday 13 June to 15h00 on Sunday (CEST.) Pierre will just have time to cross the finish line at the La Sarthe circuit before switching from Endurance racing to Formula 1 a couple of hours later. The Virtual GP gets underway at 19:00 CEST on Sunday.
As usual, the race will be run on the 2019 Codemasters F1 platform and all competitors are linked remotely. Car performance and set up are standard for everyone, with optional driver aids. Car damage is deactivated, but the drivers have to be very careful to observe the track limits, as ignoring them results in time penalties. The event will be broadcast from London’s Gfinity Esport Arena and can be watched live right here on this page, starting from 19H00 CEST.