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A sim racer just beat an ex-F1 driver in a real-life race

Di Grassi is greener.

It's been some time coming, but it's finally happened: a sim racer has beaten a pro racing driver, with Enzo Bonito getting the better of Lucas Di Grassi, the Brazilian formerly of F1 team Virgin Racing and Audi's WEC outfit, and currently a Formula E driver.

Bonito was taking part in this weekend's Race of Champions in Mexico, the annual get-together of stars from throughout the motorsport world which this year drew in the likes of F1 stars Pierre Gasly and Sebastien Vettel, Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and nine times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen.

Bonito faced up against Di Grassi in a preliminary round, taking part in a head-to-head with the pair behind the wheel of Vuhl 05s, ending up ahead over the tight, winding course by over half a second.

It's some achievement, and part of the burgeoning creep of sim racing into real world motorsports. Sim racing has its first FIA-endorsed champion in the shape of Igor Fraga, the Brazilian also emerging successful at last week's McLaren Shadow Project finals - all while he pursues his own real-life racing career. Bonito, meanwhile, is part of the same Team Redline set-up that includes F1 star Max Verstappen - who's just as brilliant on the virtual track as he in the real world.

About the Author
Martin Robinson avatar

Martin Robinson


Martin worked at Eurogamer from 2011 to 2023. He has a Gradius 2 arcade board and likes to play racing games with special boots and gloves on.

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