F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix: What time does it start, driver line-up and how to watch

Jack de Menezes
The second round of the F1 Virtual Grand Prix series takes place at Melbourne's Albert Park track: F1

The second Formula One Virtual Grand Prix takes place on Sunday night with the likes of Lando Norris and George Russell set to be joined by Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes.

The inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix was due to be held this Sunday as the streets of Hanoi transform into a brand new race track, but the outbreak of coronavirus forced F1 to postpone the event.

The first eight races of the season have all been called off, with doubts over the remainder of the calendar given the global pandemic that has stopped almost all sport from taking place. However, in an effort to fill the void left at the weekends, F1 has vowed to host a series of virtual grands prix that will simulate the actual races on the calendar.

The problem is that in using the official F1 2019 game, the Hanoi circuit is not available to use, so instead Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit will be used instead in a recreation of the Australian Grand Prix that was due to host the opening race of the season last month.

After the teething problems with the inaugural Virtual Grand Prix two weeks ago, organisers will hope for a much smoother event to avoid the technical issues that saw the Bahrain Grand Prix cut in half due to lengthy delays. But the event still attracted tens of thousands of viewers, with the same expected this time around.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event.

When is it?

The Virtual Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 5 April.

What time does it start?

The event begins at 8pm BST (9pm CET) and is expected to last around 90 minutes, with a qualifying session followed by a 28-lap race.

Where can I watch it?

The race will be broadcast live on the Formula One YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, and will also be shown live on Sky Sports F1 from 8pm. Live coverage will also be available on The Independent’s live blog of the race.

Who’s racing?

Alfa Romeo: Antonio Giovinazzi, Johnny Herbert

Alpha Tauri: Luca Salvadori, Nunzio Todisco

Ferrari Driver Academy Hublot Esports Team: Charles Leclerc, Arthur Leclerc

Haas: Pietro Fittipaldi, Louis Delatraz

McLaren: Lando Norris, Jenson Button

Mercedes: Stoffel Vandoorne, Esteban Gutierrez

Racing Point: Anthony Davidson, Jimmy Broadbent

Red Bull: Alex Albon, Ben Stokes

Renault: Christian Lundgaard, Andrei Heimgartner

Williams: Nicholas Latifi, George Russell