Cricket player Ben Stokes will test his F1 skills in virtual GP

LONDON: England cricket player Ben stokes will test his driving skills against five Formula One drivers, including Ferrari Charles Leclerc , in the second virtual Grand Prix of sport this weekend.

The World Cup winning offroad will team up with the Thai rider Alexander Albon in the Red Bull lineup for their first esports competition.

McLaren's Lando Norris and Williams' pair of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will also compete alongside retired winner of the British Grand Prix and television expert Johnny Herbert .

The virtual race is the second in a new series organized by Formula One to provide some light entertainment in the absence of any real-life action due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Norris and Latifi were the only current ones F1 pilots to compete in the first race.

The opening of the Australian Formula One season on March 15 was canceled, along with the May showcase in Monaco, with six other rounds postponed to date.

The sport hopes to start a reduced season of 15-18 races from the European summer, although any schedule remains provisional.

Sunday's 28-lap race, with the 20 drivers joining remotely from their homes, will be staged in a virtual version of Melbourne's Albert Park on a weekend originally reserved for the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix.

The Hanoi street circuit is not yet available on the 2019 official F1 video game.

The first race of the new series was held two weeks ago on a virtual circuit in Bahrain and was won by Chinese Renault test driver Guanyu Zhou.

Stokes is sponsored by Red Bull, who introduced the British six-time Olympic bike gold medalist Chris Hoy in the first race alongside Austrian touring car driver Philipp Eng.

Russell, who installed a gaming platform at his parents' home, said he was waiting for the challenge.

I've never been in eSports if I'm honest because there was a lot of simulator stuff when I was in Mercedes as a test and reserve driver, he said in a Sky Sports TV vodcast.

It was long and crazy days. And the last thing he wanted to do was go home and jump into a simulator again. Now I am definitely tempted.

I'm still pretty trash right now, but I'm definitely tempted and might get in trouble here and there.