England Allrounder Ben Stokes Finishes Last in Virtual Formula One on Debut
Ben Stokes (© AFP)

England allrounder Ben Stokes finished last in his first virtual Formula 1 race, competing for the Vietnam Grand Prix, which was won by another debutant Charles Leclerc.

Driving for Red Bull for Sunday’s race, Stokes had qualified at the 16th spot. He though spun on the fourth lap of the 29-lap race and finished 18th, a rung behind former F1 driver Johnny Herbert.

Although, to his credit, Stokes began on a promising note before being lapped by Stoffel Vandoorne who was in a Mercedes.

Sunday (April 5) was the original date for the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix before it became one of the eight races to either have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

20 drivers took part in the virtual version of the GP from their respective homes including several current F1 drivers like George Russell (Williams), Alex Albon (Red Bull), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button.

Button finished 11th.

Stokes later tweeted, “It’s the taking part that counts….it’s what I always tell my kids.”

 

Stokes’ England teammates Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan were there to support him.

Stokes even invited Broad to participate in the next race, an offer he seems to have accepted.

“It was unbelievably hard,” said Leclerc, who led from start to finish. “We are sitting on a chair, so there is not even the G-force we have in a real car, but I am sweating like crazy. The muscles are not hurting but the concentration and everything, I’ve been sweating a lot.”

The next official virtual race is the Chinese Grand Prix on April 19 .