Recovery drive for "Theamusante" in the F1 Virtual GP
"Theamusante", or Aléthéa Boucq, gained three places on the opening lap, before her paddle-shift decided to give up - but the French simracer was able to recover and pass her teammate to showcase impressive pace and clean driving skills.
It was an entertaining second round of the F1 Virtual GP, where stars gather to race for a charity prize fund for three weeks. Last weekend it was time for the British Grand Prix at the home of F1 in Silverstone, which also marked an important groundbreaking event: for the first time in the series history, a female sim racing star - "Theamusante" - landed a F1 seat, albeit virtual, in the official F1 championship, for Alpine F1 Team.
After three days of practice, Théa started from P13 after the Pro Sim Driver drove the Sprint Race to determine the order of the Feature Race grid.
The start was really promising as she battled with the cars around her, passed three drivers and had a good fight with Nicholas Latifi. But then her equipment decided otherwise and she was forced to slow down when her paddle-shift failed.
While Théa tried to fix her technical problems, the race was on full charge. Aston Martin F1 Team was again missing from the field, just like Mercedes did not compete after their entry in the first round and the only real (current) Formula 1 drivers were George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.
Callum Ilott (Ferrari) started from pole ahead of Alex Albon (Red Bull) and Thibaut Courtois (Alfa Romeo). Ilott had the better start while Coutois managed to pass Albon; Russell recovered from P5, but was then able to take over P2 soon. Albon followed him as the duo passed Courtois. Meanwhile Ilott pulled away with a three-second gap.
On lap 8, the round of pit stops began and Théa - after an understandable panic moment - found back her speed and tried to close the gap to her teammate with a clean and fast pace. After a lonely race, she gave it her all and was able to pass "Squeezie" for the 15th position and showed her impressive potential. Without the technical problems, it would have been likely possible to see her fighting within the Top10. But, nevertheless, Théa proved to be a great example and inspiration for women in simracing and eSports - which is also one of her main missions.
"'Winners never quit and quitters never win'
Being blue flagged by some of the fastest people in the world, and all for charity!! It was an unreal experience racing with George Russell, Alexander Albon and Callum Illiot and I hope that lots of women got to see me in action."
The race was a close call between Russell and Albon: while Albon passed Russell on the last lap, he then dropped down to second after a penalty inflicted to the former Red Bull F1 driver for track limits. With some luck, the last podium spot went to Callum Ilott, who had also received a penalty.
If you want to follow Théa as "Theamusante" and her weekly sim racing streams, you can visit her YouTube channel.