SPORTS ESports: Button wins Legends F1 race as Villeneuve makes strong virtual debut


ESports: Button wins Legends F1 race as Villeneuve makes strong virtual debut


22:07, April 13, 2020

Jenson Button (GBR) is an F1 presenter at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, September 27, 2019. (Photos: VCG)

Jenson Button won a "Legends Trophy" esports race on Saturday with fellow retired Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve going from last to sixth on his virtual debut.

Button, racing in the Brawn GP colors with which he won the 2009 F1 championship, led from pole to flag on a virtual Sebring track.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, an Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix winner, was second with British touring car racer Andy Priaulx finishing third. All were racing remotely from their homes due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Button's winnings of 12,387 British pounds will be donated to a charity of his choice.

"It's amazing how nervous you get," said the Briton. "I was more nervous on this in the race than I am in real life. I think it's because every corner you feel like you're going to end up in the tire barriers."

Jacques Villeneuve in the paddock during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy, September 6, 2019.

Villeneuve, who won the 1997 Formula One title and IndyCar championship in 1995 along with a victory at the Indianapolis 500, was one of three ex-F1 champions competing.

Brazil's 73-year-old double F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, joining a cast of Indianapolis 500 winners racing in McLaren M23 cars from his 1970s era, finished 16th.

The virtual series is one of several that have moved to fill the gap left by real motor racing around the world being shut down by the pandemic.

The Formula One season has yet to start after cancelling the March Australian season-opener.

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