Petter Solberg will be one of the stars to watch out for at this weekend’s Virtual Dutch Grand Prix as he joins the Renault DP World F1 Team.
It will be a complete contrast to what he is used to when he became FIA World Rally champion and two-time FIA World Rallycross champion.
There will be no need to nip on the handbrake and send the car sideways, instead it will be about being smooth and composed aroud Brazil’s Interlagos Circuit (used because Zandvoort doesn’t feature on the 2019 Formula 1 game – a fan vote resulted in the South American circuit replacing the Dutch track).
Solberg comes into his first modern Formula 1 race off the back of a maiden win in The Race Legends Trophy, where he took victory at the Nurburgring race on Saturday.
The 45-year-old said:“It’s a real honour for me to be invited to join the Renault DP World F1 Team for the Virtual Dutch Grand Prix.
“Rallying has always been everything for me, but I did have the chance to drive a Formula 1 car earlier in my career. I better not say what car because it wasn’t a Renault. It was a red one.
“So to make my debut in a Formula 1 race at this stage of my career is something really nice. I have some good experience from winning many races and two world titles in rallycross.“
Solberg will look to blend his aggressive style with racecraft around the Autodromo Hermanos Carlos Pace track: “I don’t think I will take the RX-style on Sunday, but hopefully I will remember some of the racecraft which helped me win when I switched from rallying to racing.
“This style of really smooth, no sliding, Formula 1-style of racing is pretty tricky and finding where is the last bit of grip is not so easy. But it is very good fun!
“Seriously though, this is very cool. We are all changing the way we do things while the world is like it is and I’m really looking forward to driving with Christian [Lundgaard].
“You know, me and his father Henrik we were competing against each other when we were younger. So I’m happy my team-mate is coming from a good rallying family. Like everything I will give this 110% and do my best.
“When we do something, we do it with just one aim: to win. But I have one question: it’s definitely too late to get a handbrake fitted to my car?”