The unforgiving streets of Monaco were the backdrop to another exciting weekend of online racing, with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN producing a good display and coming away with some strong results. Daniel Bereznay was just one step off the podium with a brilliant P4 in the Pro Exhibition Race, followed by Bardia Boroumand in P8, while Thibaut Courtois and Juan Manuel Correa finished in P4 and P5 respectively in Saturday’s “Not the GP” Series. Unfortunately, there was heartbreak for Antonio Giovinazzi as his race come to an end immediately after the start of the Virtual Grand Prix due to another technical issue with his game.
One of the strongest pairings in the Esports landscape, Bereznay and Boroumand navigated the narrow, twisty streets of the Principality in the Pro Exhibition race. The Hungarian controlled his race and, on a track where overtaking is nigh-impossible, he converted his fourth place on the grid into the same result at the chequered flag. Boroumand, hit by a penalty in qualifying that relegated him to P7, was unable to gain ground and finished in P8, no doubt a frustrating conclusion for the quick Iranian.
On Saturday, the Courtois/Correa pairing fared well in the “Not the GP” Monaco event. Finishing in P8 and P12 respectively in the first race, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN drivers came back strongly in the second race, the Belgian goalkeeper crossing the line in P4, just ahead of his team-mate in P5.
In the weekend’s flagship event, the Virtual Grand Prix, Antonio Giovinazzi was once again hampered by a technical issue, his race ending as soon as it started. A game freeze meant an early exit for the Italian, whose P7 starting position would have promised much for the remainder of the evening. The sister car, in the hands of Courtois, was a creditable P13 at the end of the race.
Antonio Giovinazzi (DNF, Virtual GP): “It’s been another frustrating evening of esports for me. Qualifying in P7 in Monaco was going to give me a good shot at a great result, but we never had the chance to show what we could do. My game froze just 500m into the first lap and that was it. It’s so disappointing, especially after all the time spent practicing for what should have been a great event.”
Juan Manuel Correa (P12/P5, Not the GP): “This weekend’s races were a lot of fun. Driving in Monaco is always a lot of fun, it’s a track I really enjoy in real life as well. It’s great to have a team-mate like Thibaut, we have been good friends since we did our first Virtual GP back in China and we spent the whole race talking, discussing strategy and working together. I am glad about the end result, we were both competitive.”
Daniel Bereznay (P4, Pro Exhibition race): “Monaco is not a track I enjoy driving in the game. The real thing must be an incredible show, but in the game it hardly ever makes for great racing, and that is exactly what happened this time. I started in P4 and finished in P4 without anything crazy happening. I would have been happy with a podium, of course, but with such a competitive field I prefer scoring good results consistently. Finishing on the podium or close by every time is better than being the guy going from zero to hero and back to zero again each week.”
Bardia Boroumand (P8, Pro Exhibition race): “I am pretty happy with my pace and I feel I was on my way to a strong result until the final lap in qualifying. Not only I got blocked by traffic while on a lap that would have been good for pole, I somehow got a penalty that cost me five places on the grid. Starting from the back at Monaco is really bad, and there was a lot of contact all over the race. In the end, I am not happy with P8 but there wasn’t really anything I could do.”