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23 March 2020

Renault's Guanyu Zhou wins star-studded F1 virtual Bahrain Grand Prix amid chaos and entertainment

Guanyu Zhou claimed victory in F1's inaugural virtual Grand Prix 'on the track' in Bahrain on Sunday, beating Chris Hoy, Liam Payne and Ian Poulter in the process.

On a day when the Bahrain Grand Prix was due to take place in the Sakhir desert, Formula 1 provided fans with its own entertainment amid the coronavirus postponements.

20 drivers from various career backgrounds, including racing, music and even Olympic legends, took to the virtual version of one of F1's notoriously overtaking-heavy tracks.

The 20-year-old test driver overtook Red Bull's pole sitter Philipp Eng midway through the shortened 14-lap race and held off challenges for the remainder of the event to claim the top spot.

Eng lost another place to Mercedes' Stoffel Vandoorne late in the race, leaving the Red Bull driver to take third place.

In an entertaining race, Sky F1's Johnny Herbert provided much of the action first launching himself from 16th on the grid to the front of the pack and later smashing his Alfa Romeo into the advertising boards.

His starting excitement was short-lived, when the three-time Grand Prix winner was handed a time penalty because it was discovered he had driven straight across the grass in his enthusiasm. 

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