Formula 1 has launched a new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, featuring a number of current F1 drivers.
The series has been created to enable fans to continue watching Formula 1 races virtually, despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation that has affected this season’s opening race calendar.
The virtual races will run in place of every postponed Grand Prix and started with the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix on 22 March. Every subsequent race weekend will see the postponed real-world Formula 1 race replaced with a Virtual Grand Prix, with the initiative currently scheduled to run until May.
The series will see current F1 drivers line up on the grid alongside a host of stars. In order to guarantee the participants safety at this time, each driver will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena (or remotely if required).
The broadcast, which will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as F1.com, is expected to run for an hour and a half, with a qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time.
In view of the wide variety of gaming skill levels amongst the drivers, game settings will be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing. This includes running equal car performance with fixed set-ups, reduced vehicle damage, and optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for those less familiar with the game.
The series is strictly for entertainment purposes, to bring racing action to fans in this unprecedented scenario the world has been affected by, with no official World Championship points up for grabs for the drivers.