Virtual Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips: Norris To Solve Tech Woes?

Leigh Copson:

The F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series features former drivers and celebrities going head-to-head, and the season continues on Sunday, April 5 when the ‘drivers’ virtually head Down Under for the Virtual Australian Grand Prix.

READ MORE: Get our free predictions & live stream info for the MotoGP Virtual Race on Sunday.

What Is The Virtual Australian Grand Prix?

F1 has been forced to shelve the first seven races of the 2020 campaign and to help fill the void it will be replacing every postponed real-world Formula 1 race with a virtual grand prix, with alternate tracks being used to cover for those real world circuits that are not featured in the F1 2019 PC game.

When Is The Virtual Australian Grand Prix?

The next ‘real’ Formula 1 race was set to take place on Sunday, April 5 with the drivers scheduled to head to Vietnam for the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix. That race is obviously not taking place, but because this circuit was not on the 2019 F1 calendar it does not appear in the video game, meaning organisers have had to pick out a different track. Because the new series was launched after March 15 the Australian Grand Prix circuit is yet to be used, so that will ‘host’ the second instalment of the Virtual F1 Grand Prix Series. The race is set to take place at 21:00 BST on Sunday, April 5 and it will be streamed via the Formula 1 and Sky Sports YouTube pages.

Virtual Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips Preview

The virtual F1 action got underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 22, with a bunch of familiar faces competing in a qualifying session before going head-to-head over 14 laps (technical issues prevented it from being a 28-lap race) to determine the first winning driver of the season.

Virtual Guanyu Zhou celebrates winning the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix.

Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou took the honours, finishing ahead of former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne and BMW Motorsport driver Philipp Eng, but can he make it back-to-back victories on Sunday or will a driver with actual F1 experience take full advantage of their real-world knowledge to take the chequered flag?

Read on for our Virtual Australian Grand Prix predictions & tips for Sunday, April 5…

Virtual Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips: Guanyu Zhou @ 4/1

Guanyu Zhou was the most consistent performer ‘in Bahrain’ as he started from second row on the grid and turned it into a convincing victory that saw him finish 11 seconds ahead of his nearest rivals. Despite this dominance the bookmakers do not believe he is the favourite for this one, instead going with Lando Norris. Norris finished fifth last time out, but for almost half of that race it was AI, aka LandoBot, driving his virtual vehicle due to technical problems. So did we really see enough from him to suggest that he can deny Zhou victory here? I am not so sure, so I am sticking with last week’s winner to make it back-to-back victories and continue his quest for virtual F1 greatness.

Virtual Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips: Jimmy Broadbent @ 8/1

Jimmy Broadbent drives into Lando Norris during the final lap of the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix.

How about a bold prediction for the Virtual Australian Grand Prix. Youtuber Jimmy Broadbent narrowly missed out on a podium place in the season-opening race, but he was able to finish in fourth place after an epic tussle with Norris that saw him take out the McLaren driver at the final turn, recover and finish ahead of his newfound rival. Broadbent showed with his display that his not afraid to take an aggressive approach on the virtual F1 circuit and that is something his rivals will be wary of during the Virtual Australian Grand Prix. Could Broadbent bulldoze his way to glory Down Under? Stranger things have happened in the virtual world!