The inaugural F1 Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix was thoroughly entertaining and a part of the credit goes to Lando Norris. The McLaren driver was one of the highlights in yesterday’s race – not because of his race craft but everything else that happened off track. Norris went on a roasting spree and didn’t spare his old F2 rivals George Russel and Alex Albon.
Norris started on the last row of the grid after a disastrous qualifying session. The Briton failed to set a lap time during the 18-minute session due to an apparent connection problem.
However, the Briton seized the opportunity to engage in some friendly ribbing. Norris called George Russell before the race start to receive some tips and tricks on how to proceed in the race from 19th.
Russell often qualified on the last row of the grid for Williams in 2019. During the race, the Briton often engaged in wheel to wheel battles only with his teammate in the other Williams car. Norris, being the ultimate troll, didn’t let the opportunity pass and dialled up Russell for a few “tips”.
Russell played along and was a complete sport during the public put-down. However, Norris wasn’t quite finished.
The Briton called Alexander Albon after the race to discuss the events that transpired. For context, Norris was involved in a comical last-lap incident with sim racer Jimmy Broadbent. As a result, the Briton was launched into the barriers, ruining his race.
As you probably guessed, the conversation between two was an absolute riot.
“Mate, the corner was to turn right and you turned left!” joked Albon.
“Yeah Alex, I didn’t like the way you turned in on Lewis Hamilton in Brazil” replied Norris.
Norris was referencing Albon’s misfortune at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Thai driver was on course to score his first podium in F1 but collided with Lewis Hamilton during the final laps.
Norris also called his teammate Carlos Sainz and McLaren boss Zak Brown. Sainz had genuine words of advice for Norris which the Briton didn’t exactly follow.
F2 and Renault junior academy driver Guanyu Zhou won the inaugural Virtual Grand Prix for the French team. A mix of professional racers, non-racers and sim racers meant the event was full of thrills and spills. Norris finished the race in fifth after an early setback.