With the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix cancelled this weekend, Williams Esports sought to provide fans with the perfect replacement, hosting a virtual race around the Imola
The Italian race had to be scrapped after heavy flooding in the region made it impossible to proceed with the weekend’s events.
Over 13,000 people have been displaced by the unusual weather event and 5 people have been confirmed dead, with recovery efforts ongoing.
Williams driver Alex Albon and team principal James Vowles both took to the grid in the virtual race as part of a bid to raise funds for the Emilia Romagna Flood Relief Effort.
The duo were joined by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and sim racers James Baldwin and Bono Huis.
Unfortunately for Albon, the race didn’t quite turn out the way he would have wanted, as the Thai-Brit was disqualified after 13 laps for ignoring blue flags on too many occasions.
“The problem is I was literally trapped, because I was out of sync because of those soft tyre spins at the start of the race, I had to pit super early and ended up with blue flags for the whole race, or just trying to race. So here I am!” Albon said.
Albon’s boss Vowles was also hit with a penalty for infringements on track, suggesting he might be better in the garage then on the track.
The race would eventually be won by Shanaka Clay, while Albon would go on to secure 10th place.
Formula 1 returns for real at the Monaco Grand Prix, with teams already on their way to the famous street circuit, ensuring there are no delays to the upcoming race weekend after the disruption in Italy.