George Russell dominated the final Formula 1 VirtualGP contest in Canada to claim his fourth straight success in the series, also clinching the title with Charles Leclerc absent.
Russell claimed yet another pole position in dominant style during qualifying, the Williams man heading Alex Albon by 0.452, while team-mate Nicholas Latifi ensured both Williams would start in the top three.
The pole man got a lightning start as the lights went out, holding the lead into Turn 1 ahead of Albon, the Brit immediately focussing on breaking the slipstream distance to the pursuing Red Bull.
He duly did as he edged away from Albon at around a few tenths a lap before the pair stopped for their one and only tyre change early on, for the medium compound rubber.
Russell’s cause was then helped by a trio of three-second track limit penalties for Albon late in the race, meaning Russell’s eventual 6.5 second winning margin ballooned to over 15 by the end of the 35-lap contest.
Fortunately for Albon he was able to pull enough of an advantage over third-placed Esteban Gutierrez to keep his runners-up result, the Mexican claiming another solid podium for his Mercedes squad.
The fight for fourth meanwhile was contested between the Renault junior pairing of Caio Collet and Guan Yu Zhou, the former ultimately shrugging off a spin mid-race to claim the position while the latter fell victim to YouTuber Ben Daly in the closing stages.
Zhou attempted to complete the race on the hard compound tyres, going a different way to the rest of the field, but ultimately struggled for speed as the extra longevity of his rubber failed to play a part towards the end, Daly utilising a two-stop strategy to steal fifth from the Chinese racer at the death.
Latifi looked set to battle for a debut podium finish early on before being involved in a clash with Gutierrez while battling for third at the final chicane early on, the Canadian spinning and dropping out of the top ten.
He then pitted early to make the most of a clean track, but could only recover to seventh at his home event, just ahead of Anthony Davidson who also recovered well after his own spin at the chicane after crashing with a charging Daly.
Callum Ilott and David Schumacher completed the top ten for Ferrari and Racing Point respectively, while Pierre Gasly was disqualified while running in the points for collecting too many track limits infringements.
Russell effectively wrapped up the VirtualGP title prior to the weekend due to chief rival Charles Leclerc electing to skip the finale in order to focus on his Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours commitments, while Albon was over a race win in points behind after finishing second to Russell at Baku last time out.