Real Madrid and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is swapping his gloves for a controller as he gets set to race in the upcoming F1 Esports Grand Prix for the Red Bull team.
Courtois follows in the footsteps of former Red Bull guest drivers from other sports, with six-time Olympic cycling medallist Chris Hoy and cricket World Cup winner Ben Stokes already racing for the team so far this season.
Now Courtois will take the virtual wheel of the second Red Bull entry, alongside team mainstay and active F1 driver Alexander Albon, as he gets set to race in the virtual Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.
Courtois says he’s a huge fan of the game, and he’s excited to do battle on track against teammate Albon and the other F1 aces Lando Norris, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc.
“I am really happy to be racing this Sunday in the Virtual GP alongside Alex for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and to be part of the Red Bull Esports family,” he said.
“They’ve shared some tips with me and helped me train over the last few weeks so I’m now really looking forward to the race.”
The F1 Esports race will replace the real-life Chinese Grand Prix, which was expected to take place on Sunday, but has been scrapped due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But race fans have flocked to social media and F1’s broadcast partner channels to watch the virtual races instead.
And Courtois is hopeful that he can produce a strong showing against some real-life racing stars.
“I love the game, I’ve faced Alex a few times already on track and racing against other F1 drivers is pretty awesome,” said the 27-year-old.
“Practice over the last few weeks has seen me always around the middle of the grid so I’m hoping to get into the points.”