Gasly virtually saves F1 honor at Le Mans – frustration for Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc

( – The virtual edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans – driven on Saturday / Sunday with the simulation rFactor 2 – was mostly frustrating for the numerous Formula 1 drivers in the field of 200 drivers. In the end, at least one made it into the top 5.

E-sports: 24h Le Mans virtual

Pierre Gasly was the happiest F1 driver in the virtual 24-hour race on P5



Pierre Gasly brought the number 24 LMP car used by Veloce eSports together with Formula E driver Jean-Eric Vergne and the two Sim racers Jarno Opmeer and Isaac Gillissen to fifth place in the top class. (Pictures: 24h Le Mans virtual)

No current, but a former Formula 1 driver finished in the second half of the top 10: Jenson Button competed with Alex Buncombe for the Rocket team. After the 24 hours, they were ranked ninth in the top class together with their Sim Racing partners Jan van der Heyde and Matt Richards.

Frustration for Verstappen and Norris after a hard drive

Max Verstappen and Land Norris, among others, competed in this top class (LMP). They shared the cockpit of the number 20 Redline car with the Sim racers Atze Kerkhof and Greger Huttu. In the tenth hour, Verstappen was in the lead for the team.

But then Verstappen had a crash in the fast Porsche corners. Shortly before, he had harmlessly strayed from the track several times. As it turned out, it was not the driver’s driving mistakes, but so-called “glitches”, ie signal dropouts, of the simulation.

After Verstappen, Norris and Co. had already been reported as a failure as a result of the crash and other signal dropouts, they were allowed to intervene in racing again in the last quarter of the 24 hours. Because restarting the central computer (server) had ensured a 30-minute red phase for the second time in this race.

As it went on, Verstappen, Norris and Co. received a credit of 130 rounds because their “failure” was not due to them. In the end, they were only 17 laps behind the winners of Rebellion / Williams (Deletraz / Marciello / Wisniewski / Brzezinski), only 25th in the LMP field with 30 cars.

Alonso / Barrichello met the Verstappen fate earlier

The two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso had a similar experience. He competed for his own e-sports team with Rubens Barrichello among others. There was a technical problem in the second hour because there was no virtual fuel flowing into the LMP car with the start number 14 at the fuel stop. In this case too, the reason was a failure of the simulation. Alonso, Barrichello and Co. were reported as outages without fuel. Alonso then took a real bike tour via Twitter.

However, because the first of the two server restarts had taken place in the fifth hour, Alonso / Barrichello and Co. were allowed to intervene in the virtual race as well as Verstappen / Norris and Co. later. They also received a credit (63 laps) for which Alonso broke off his bike tour without further ado. But in the end there was nothing big for this team with 17th place in the LMP field.

Leclerc in the GTE field quickly, but without luck

In the GTE class won by Porsche, Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi competed as representatives of the Formula 1 community. They drove the number 52 Ferrari together with the Sim racers Enzo Bonito and David Tonizza.

After being placed second in the class at a third of the distance, Leclerc flew several times with the Ferrari. In this case, too, the reason was so-called “glitches” in the simulation or connection.

For Leclerc / Giovinazzi and Co., it ended up being a disappointing 18th place in a row of 20 GTE cars. The Formula 1 driver from Ferrari has already announced that he has a taste for Le Mans and would like to contest the real Le Mans 24 Hours in the future.

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