Oscar Piastri scores win and top-five on virtual F1 and F2 debuts
Australian racer Oscar Piastri put in an impressive performance on his debut in the Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix Series and FIA Formula 2 Virtual Racing yesterday, June 7th, at Baku City Circuit.
Starting the afternoon with Prema Racing in the F2 series, Oscar blitzed the field in the one-lap qualifying to secure pole position by 0.358s and carried that into the 15-lap Feature race, which he won in dominant fashion, crossing the line 10.6s ahead of the second-placed driver.
Taking this form into his virtual F1 debut, the 19-year old qualified fifth, just 0.4s off the quickest time, but was unlucky as he had contact from behind into turn one which put him into a spin and dropped him as low as 15th on the opening lap.
Despite the setback, the Melbournian dug deep and worked his way back through the field, passing rivals all over the circuit, including a thrilling side-by-side battle with Pietro Fittipaldi, as he fought back to an impressive fifth place at the chequered flag.
The 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup champion will now focus on training and conditioning ahead of the opening races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, with Prema Racing, which will take place at Spielberg in Austria over the weekend of July 3-5.
“I think my debut in virtual racing went pretty well and it was great to represent Renault DP World F1 Team. I got off to a good start with a win in the FIA Formula 2 Feature race earlier in the evening, and so I headed into the Virtual Grand Prix with some confidence.
“I was pleased with my start in this race considering I hadn’t done it before, but a small spin resulting from some contact in turn one meant I lost some ground. I then had to put in some good overtaking moves and keep a consistent pace to recover and finish strongly in fifth. Overall, I am pretty happy with my performance. Hopefully I get another chance to do one of these again, it was great fun.”