F1 replaces races with Esports Virtual Grand Prix series

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Formula 1 has replaced every postponed Grand Prix with its new esports alternative the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, featuring some of the sport’s current drivers.

The initiative, currently set to run till May, will see current F1 drivers and special guests compete in the series in order to retain fan engagement during the COVID-19 outbreak. Each driver will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast airing live from the Gfinity Esports Arena.

Julian Tan, F1 Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports stated: “We are very pleased to be able to bring some light relief in the form of the F1 Esports Virtual GP, in these unpredictable times, as we hope to entertain fans missing the regular sporting action. With every major sports league in the world unable to compete, it is a great time to highlight the benefits of esports and the incredible skill that’s on show.”

The series will be played every scheduled race weekend of the real-life F1 calendar with the firm hosting online expedition races during non-race weekends, giving fans the chance to compete against F1 drivers.

John Clarke, Gfinity Chief Executive Officer added: “Gfinity is proud to be playing its part in the design and delivery of the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which will bring exciting virtual racing to a legion of Formula 1 and Esports fans around the globe. The virtual Bahrain GP will feature all the thrills and spills of racing with F1 drivers and special guest celebrities”

The F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix will be applied on the sports official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters, with it being aired on the organisations YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels.

Frank Sagnier, Chief Executive Officer, Codemasters concluded: “We’re excited to be a part of the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series. With sporting events currently on hold around the world, it’s great that the official F1 video game can help fill the void by bringing together an exciting line-up of talent to race online during the postponed race weekends. It’s going to be competitive, action-packed, and a lot of fun for everyone involved.”

The first eRace will take place on March 22, 2020 as a whole host of drivers and guests compete on the virtual Sakhir track.

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