Home Formula 1 Renault picks test driver Guanyu Zhou for Virtual Bahrain GP

Renault picks test driver Guanyu Zhou for Virtual Bahrain GP

by Ida Wood

Photo: Joe Portlock / FIA Formula 2

Renault has called up its test driver Guanyu Zhou for tonight’s Formula 1-organised Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix.

On Friday, F1 announced a Virtual Grand Prix Series that would take place on weekends where grands prix were originally scheduled prior to the postponements and cancellations caused by the global COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 10 F1 teams were invited to play on the official F1 2019 game and expected to field their usual driving line-up, although only McLaren and Williams have representation from their actual drivers in Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi respectively.

Zhou is set to return to Formula 2 this year with Virtuosi Racing, having finished seventh in the championship in 2019 with the team. His team-mate in Renault’s VGPS line-up for the Virtual Bahrain GP will be 44-year-old world class golfer Ian Poulter, who has 17 professional tournament wins to his name.

Other racing drivers who have put their name down for the race including three-time grand prix winner Johnny Herbert (Alfa Romeo), 2014 World Endurance champion Anthony Davidson (Haas), Lewis Hamilton’s British Touring Car Championship-racing younger brother Nic Hamilton (McLaren), F1 regular Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) and DTM race-winner Philipp Eng (Red Bull Racing).

Mercedes has called up its simulator drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne, both with previous F1 experience, while Ferrari is utilising its junior drivers Robert Shwartzman and Dino Beganovic, who are racing in F2 and Italian Formula 4 this year respectively.

The other drivers in the race include various online gaming stars, Olympic medalists and musicians.