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Charles Leclerc takes Virtual Chinese GP glory

Charles Leclerc claimed a second straight victory in Formula One’s Virtual Grand Prix series on Sunday, despite Thibaut Courtois tactically blocking him for Red Bull Racing.

After coming first in the previous race around the Albert Park circuit, pole-sitter Leclerc took the chequered flag for FDA Hublot Esports Team in the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix in impressive fashion.

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Alexander Albon was unable to find a way past the Monegasque and had to settle for second after 28 laps, with Renault’s Guanyu Zhou rounding out the top three.

Real Madrid star Courtois may have finished in 16th but he proved to be a great team-mate when, on lap nine, he let Albon past him but refused to allow Leclerc to follow.

Albon said of Courtois: “He’s so fast. Thibaut’s been driving with us quite a bit in practice sessions and when I first started testing he was quicker than me and I was getting worried about my job.

“He even did team tactics. He held up Charles for a couple of corners, so it was good fun!”

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Connectivity issues stopped Lando Norris taking part for McLaren, who saw Carlos Sainz come 10th after an opening-lap crash, while Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi mysteriously left the session with six laps remaining.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile placed 17th for AlphaTauri, with Ian Poulter bringing up the rear in a Renault.

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