Formula 1 has announced the launch of their new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, featuring a number of current F1 drivers, racing around virtual tracks in the PC version of F1 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all sports, including F1’s season opening race calendar, so this series has been created to enable fans to watch Formula 1 races virtually.
Starting this Sunday, March 22, at 4:00 PM ET, each virtual race will run in place of every postponed race through May. In order to guarantee the participants safety, each driver will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena.
The first virtual Grand Prix on the Sakhir track will feature a 50% length race with 28 laps. Fans can watch the race on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, which is expected to run for about an hour and a half, including a qualifying period for grid positioning based on the fastest lap time.
Game settings will be configured to encourage competitive and entertaining racing, due to the wide variety of gaming skill levels amongst the drivers. This includes running equal car performance with fixed setups, reduced vehicle damage, optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for racers less familiar with the game.
No official World Championship points up for grabs for the drivers, as the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series is strictly for entertainment purposes only.
During non-race weekends, Formula 1 will also be hosting online exhibition races, where fans from around the world will be given the chance to go head-to-head with F1 drivers. More details of these events will be available across the official Formula 1 social media channels in the coming weeks.