Sometimes it’s not what’s right in front of you that catches the eye.
And if it’s not what is surely the longest-ever running crash in motorsport history, or one of the world’s greatest footballers overtaking established racing drivers, it must be… a middle-aged man’s garage.
When Ian Poulter sent a message of goodwill to his fellow racers on the official F1 feed ahead of Sunday’s Virtual Spanish Grand Prix, he might have forgotten he was sitting with his back to an array of beautiful performance cars, including a Porsche 911 GT3 and a stunning unnamed retro-looking super car.
It’s not as if we couldn’t have guessed the oft flamboyantly-dressed Poulter might be a wealthy man for all his golfing success, but more than five Ferraris, several luxury Mercedes and a load of other special motors makes us wonder just how much one gets paid for winning the Italian Open.
Then again, it’s not just about the golf when you’re Ian Poulter…
Poulter held firm in the race finishing 18th – even beating Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo, who was last – despite getting a little confused during his mid-race interview: “There’s a thing in the middle of my screen, I can’t hear my revs and you’re in my ears.”
Poulter’s Renault was beaten by Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero however, who brought his Red Bull home in 14th place. But he wasn’t the top footballer, after Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois took a respectable 11th after weeks of toil – the highest placed non-professional driver and ahead of four pros, including Hamilton… Nick Hamilton.
But it was Williams’ George Russell – after giving us the pleasure of seeing a Williams on pole position – who won, despite losing four places off the start.
Following a late-race battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Russell was cruelly handed a three-second penalty for breaching track limits, but claimed victory after Leclerc was given the same punishment.
Leclerc appears to have lost his eracing touch after a disappointing Saturday where he was beaten in the Veloce Not The GP Series (both races held this week were hosted at a virtual spa in Belgium) after losing out on the line by 0.013 seconds to Turkish driver and eracer Cem Bolukbasi for Toro Tosso.
And then “stupidly” crashing out of the second race, won by Alfa Romeo’s ace egamer Dani Bereznay. A very busy Ian Poulter finished a creditable seventh and Courtois retired.
But ‘incident of the weekend’ has to to go Mitch Evans in his Jaguar, during Formula E’s Race At Home challenge, who seemed to travel underneath another car for what felt like half of the Monaco lap during a huge multi-car pile-up at the start of the race.
It all started, yet again, by a wayward and luckless Stoffel Vandoorne of Mercedes, who had qualified second on the grid only to be punted from behind right at the start again – just as he was in the F1 Virtual Brazilian GP last weekend. Cruel luck for undoubtedly one of the strongest eracers so far this lockdown.
And in an even bigger shock, BMW iAndretti’s Max Gunther didn’t win what would have been his fourth race in a row, but came third behind a recovered Vandoorne, and the only man who seemed to have a quiet race, winner Pascal Wehrlein of Mahindra.