19 Apr 2020

The Postman Ian Poulter is back in the driving seat

DP World Brand Ambassador Ian Poulter will return to racing on Sunday 19th April when he competes in his second Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix. The Ryder Cup legend will switch out his golfing shoes for driving boots and partner with Renault DP World F1 Team Test Driver Guanyu Zhou to take on a competitive field over 28 laps of the iconic 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit.

The pairing is a repeat of the line-up formed for the first ever Virtual Grand Prix – at Bahrain – in March. Zhou – who won the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix – is aiming to make it two wins from two appearances in the simulator series on home turf.

FEATURE: How Poulter got into Virtual F1

However, Poulter, who is no stranger to success in China having won the 2012 WGC HSBC Champions tournament in Shenzhen on the PGA Tour, also goes into this race full of confidence. On his Formula 1 Esports debut, Poulter finished fifteenth before narrowly missing out to McLaren-Renault’s Lando Norris in a one-off, 5-lap challenge race around Silverstone.

Poulter commented: “Driving is a huge passion of mine and as an ambassador for DP World, I’m excited to be racing for the Renault DP World F1 Team alongside Guanyu Zhou. I learned a lot in my first race last month and have been practicing every day to improve. I’ve been getting tips from both Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, so I really want to do them – and the whole team – proud with a strong finish in Sunday’s virtual race.”

Both Poulter and Zhou will race from their own simulators and will go up against a mixed grid which will include current F1 drivers, former drivers, young driver programme members and celebrities.

This weekend’s event is the third race in the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which gives fans the chance to watch Formula 1 races virtually during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Danny van Otterdijk, Chief Communications Officer, DP World said: “We have a relationship with Renault in motorsport and Ian Poulter in golf and to be able to bring these two partners together in an innovative and exciting way is fantastic for us and for sports fans globally. Both Ian and Zhou are extremely talented athletes in their respective sports, and we wish them all the best come Sunday.”

The official Virtual Grand Prix begins at 18:00 BST (21:00 UAE) on Sunday evening and is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes and include a qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time.

Drivers will join the race remotely, with the race being broadcast on F1.com, the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch, Weibo and Facebook channels.

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