Leclerc made his debut only two weekends ago, in the Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix at Melbourne, but has thrown himself into esports since. The Monegasque set up his own series, involving a six-race tournament that included almost a third of F1’s real drivers, in aid of the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund – in which he duly took an overall victory.
This weekend saw Leclerc competing in two more live esports events, with both an F1 Virtual Grand Prix at China’s Shanghai circuit, and some head-to-head racing in the Veloce Esports Not the… GP Versus series.
Veloce’s event came first, on Saturday. This series sees 16 drivers – from pro F1 drivers to well-known YouTubers in the esports field – race one-on-one through a series of knockout events, until just one remains as the winner. In an all-F1 semi-final line-up, Leclerc beat Lando Norris – a seasoned sim-racer – while Nicholas Latifi dispatched Williams team-mate George Russell. Over a best-of-three final round, Leclerc emerged victorious.
Shanghai proved to be normal service, with Leclerc taking both pole position and the win – although he had to scrap with Red Bull’s Alex Albon to achieve it – for his fourth consecutive esports title.