Man City striker Agüero ties his boots for the virtual F1 race

LONDON: Sergio Aguero may be afraid to return to action in the Premier league but the Manchester City striker will join the Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo in a Formula One Esports grid this weekend.

The Argentine, the City's all-time top scorer, will race home for Red Bull against regular Formula One drivers at the Spanish Virtual Grand Prix, the fifth in a series that began during the closure of COVID-19.

Sunday would have been the day of the Spanish race at the Circuit de Catalunya, but that has been postponed due to the pandemic.

Belgian international Courtois, an enthusiastic player who has already appeared in the series, will represent Alfa Romeo with Brazilian Melo competing for Haas in the official F1 2019 video game.

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Golfer Ian Poulter, who has a simulator installed in his Florida home garage, will also make another appearance for Renault in what has become a pro-celebrity series rather than a reflection of the actual grid.

Motorsports is a great passion of mine, so having the opportunity to participate in the Spanish Virtual GP is very exciting for me, Agüero said in a Red Bull statement.

The 31-year-old, who shares a sponsor at kit maker Puma, attended F1 races and track days and hopes to put on his racing boots to join last weekend winner Alexander Albon in the team's lineup.

This takes it to the next level and gives me a chance to compete and compete against real F1 drivers, I can't wait, said Agüero, who has been unable to play soccer since March.

The striker, locked down at home with his girlfriend, recently made headlines for saying he was scared about returning to action in the Premier league , with Britain suffering the most COVID-19 fatalities in Europe.

Ferrari Charles Leclerc McLaren Lando Norris , The duet of Williams George Russell and Nicholas Latifi and Alfa Romeo Antonio Giovinazzi You will also participate.

Formula One said last weekend's Dutch Virtual Grand Prix reached 2.5 million views on F1's digital platforms, and the four events received a total of 15.4 million views on F1's own channels.

Combined with television estimates, with the virtual race broadcast in more than 100 countries, including Sky in Britain and ESPN in the United States, Formula One said 18.9 million people had tuned in so far.