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Formula 1

Courtois to drive for Red Bull in Chinese Virtual Grand Prix

by Matt Beer
2 min read

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will drive for Red Bull in Formula 1’s third Virtual Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Courtois will partner Red Bull’s regular F1 driver Alex Albon in the energy drink giant’s roster in the Chinese Grand Prix replacement event, held on the F1 2019 video game.

Considered among the top goalkeepers in modern association football, the 27-year-old Belgian has won the Belgian championship with Genk, the Spanish La Liga with Atletico Madrid and two Premier League titles with Chelsea.

He was named the best goalkeeper of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and received a bronze medal in the tournament as part of the Belgian national team, joining Real Madrid in the aftermath.

Courtois is an avid F1 2019 player and has already taken part in numerous simracing events, most notably Veloce’s ‘Not the GP’ series that’s been held concurrently to F1’s Virtual GPs.

“I am really happy to be racing this Sunday in the Virtual GP alongside Alex Albon for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and to be part of the Red Bull Esports family,” Courtois said.

“They’ve shared some tips with me and helped me train over the last few weeks so I’m now really looking forward to the race.

“I love the game, I’ve faced Alex a few times already on track and racing against other F1 drivers is pretty awesome.

“Practice over the last few weeks has seen me always around the middle of the grid so I’m hoping to get in to the points!”

Courtois is the latest sportsman from another discipline drafted into F1’s Virtual GP series, with the likes of retired Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, golfer Ian Poulter and cricketer Ben Stokes having already participated.

F1, which has been targeting a mix of current grand prix drivers and VIPs for its Virtual GP events, has confirmed six F1 racers alongside Courtois for the China race.

These are Albon, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Lando Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi – all of whom were in action last time out in the Vietnam replacement event.

That race was won by Leclerc, who this time will be partnered by Ferrari junior Callum Ilott in the Scuderia’s line-up.

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