Arsenal star Aubameyang to make Formula One esports debut

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Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be taking tips from McLaren’s Lando Norris before the pair line up for a virtual Formula One grand prix around Monaco’s street circuit on Sunday.

The half-distance race, with drivers competing from home on simulators, will be around a virtual version of the tight and twisty street circuit on the day the cancelled real grand prix would have happened.

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Both the F1 and Premier League seasons are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two F1 drivers will be making their esports debuts too, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Renault’s Esteban Ocon taking part for the first time. They will join series regulars Norris, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alex Albon.

Gabon international Aubemayang is the latest in a line of high-profile football players making guest appearances in the virtual race series on the official F1 2019 video game against real F1 drivers.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero took part in the previous virtual Spanish Grand Prix, along with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Barcelona’s Arthur Melo, while AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli has also featured.

“You’d better be good, you’d better be fast,” a laughing Norris told Aubameyang, who played for AS Monaco in 2010-11, in a video clip posted by McLaren on Twitter.

Welcome to the team, @Aubameyang7! 🤝

He’ll be joining up with @LandoNorris to represent McLaren at the virtual #MonacoGP on Sunday. 👊🎮 @F1 #VirtualGP pic.twitter.com/dJQBB39GEo

— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 20, 2020

“It’s a bit hard but I try to train every day,” the striker said. “Some turns are really, really hard.”

“Yeah, they chose the hardest track for you to join. Monaco is not easy at all,” replied Norris, before Aubameyang requested some time for them to train together.

“To tell the truth, I’m free every day,” the Arsenal player said. “I am training but then I have all day. The morning definitely I’m not there. But definitely I need some advice on the virtual thing…I need your help, bro.”

Aubameyang, the Premier League’s joint top goalscorer in 2018-19 and Arsenal’s leading marksman this season, needs no help at least from F1’s youngest British driver when it comes to his own day job.

Information from Reuters was also included in this report.

Source: espn.com

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