Alex Albon and Arthur Leclerc split the wins in a chaotic but entertaining Race For the World charity event put on by a group of Formula 1 drivers.
This was the first of a series of three events raising money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, with a total of $33,252.26 raised by the end of the opening double-header.
All the drivers competing, which included six current F1 racers, had their audio available in a single lobby, which led to extensive debates about rules, continuous banter, debates about possible tracks limits infringements and even a rendition of the F1 theme music – as well as regular discussions about throwing safety cars to close the field up in response to requests to do so from those watching.
Renault Academy driver Christian Lundgaard took pole position for the first race at Abu Dhabi, although this was quickly abandoned.
This was because of a settings error leading to the cars running in ghost mode, with the drivers agreeing to hold a fresh, one-shot qualifying session for the restarted race.
Red Bull’s Alex Albon secured pole position and held the lead at the start under pressure from Lundgaard, who started alongside him on the front row.
Lundgaard pressured Albon during the first stint and jumped him when the pair made their pitstops, with Ferrari’s Arthur Leclerc briefly taking the lead during this phase.
Lundgaard reclaimed the lead when Leclerc stopped, but the race then descended into chaos when the drivers decided to call a safety car to close the field up to entertain those watching.
After a couple of attempts at restarting the race, which led to enormous amounts of contact and resulted in the race descending into chaos, Albon found his way back into the lead while Lundgaard was disqualified.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois kept it clean to finish second ahead of Ferrari’s Arthur Leclerc, with Luca Albon, Alex’s younger brother, taking fourth.
Charles Leclerc, in the other Ferrari, was shuffled back to fifth in the closing stages having jumped from the midfield into contention at the front during the safety car restart chaos.
The second race was held at Silverstone, with Arthur Leclerc establishing himself at the front at the start and then leading home Lundgaard and Luca Albon, the Red Bull F1 driver’s younger brother.
The Leclercs then ran longer on softs before switching to mediums, with Arthur emerging from the pits just ahead of the pair.
Brother Charles pitted later, but came out of the pits at the back of the group to run fourth.
He was passed by Lando Norris through the final corner, ending up fifth ahead of Latifi and George Russell.
It is hoped that the series of events will raise $100,000, with donations still open.