Gremlins grind George to a halt in Austrian Grand Prix
A fuel pressure problem forced George Russell to retire from the 2020 season opener.
As the points leader in the unofficial Drivers’ Championship – taking three wins and a total of five podium finishes in his six starts – George’s form continued for the virtual race in Canada and in qualifying, the Williams Racing driver took pole position, beating Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to the top spot by 0.452s with a 1:07.494s run.
Securing a perfect reaction time as the starting lights flashed out, George maintained his lead into Turn 1 as the race commenced and soon opened up an advantage over Albon by netting the fastest lap on his first tour of the 4.361km-long venue.
By lap 2, the Briton held a firm 2s gap and extended this to 3.6 as he boxed at the end of lap 7 for the first of two pit stops, swapping the Soft-compound tyres for a fresh set of more durable Mediums.
George rejoined the 35-lap affair in P5, however, quickly advanced to P2 as the drivers ahead pitted, with Ferrari’s Callum Ilott taking the lead after extending his first stint of the race, running on the alternate strategy.
Closing in, George passed Ilott for the lead on lap 10 and again had a clear track ahead, extending his gap over Albon by a further 2.2s to pit for the final time on lap 22, again fitting a fresh set of Mediums.
With the chasing pack pitting on the same tour, George resumed the race in the lead and took the chequered flag at the end of lap 35, securing a fourth consecutive victory by 15.320s and with it, the Virtual Grand Prix series’ unofficial Drivers’ Championship title.
Following the conclusion of the Virtual GP series, Formula 1 gears up for the official start of the 2020 season as the countdown commences for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg on July 5.
Video courtesy of Formula 1