Formula 1 Goes Virtual: The Grand Prix to Hold Esports Series for Postponed Races

Virtual Grand Prix Series Replaces Cancelled Races

We’re swapping steering wheels for game controllers now that this year’s Grand Prix has cancelled and postponed many races that were on the calendar. Now, the sport has taken an alternative course by turning to esports to fill the void left by the unexpected turn or events.

The new races will be played on the official Codemasters 2019 Formula 1 video game and will present the substituted events for the postponed races of the F1 season. Tracks that weren’t available in the 2019 game will be replaced by an alternative Grand Prix. The first of these competitions took place on Sunday, March 22 with the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the race running 50% of the real race track distance, with 28 laps.

The F1 Esports series will continue to run until May. That means that Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Monaco are set to take their places. The competition could advance to further months, depending on the situation of the world.

However, this revolutionary event will not be the first time that the real and Esports races are crossing paths. Last February, esports driver Igor Frage was given the opportunity to prove his skills as a Formula Three driver with Charouz Racing System. He was the crowned champion of the 2020 Toyota Racing Series with four race wins, including a double during the ending of the series in the New Zealand Grand Prix.  

New F1 Set Up

The Esports races were launched in an attempt to make up for the postponed races, as well as to give both professional F1 drivers as well as F1 esports stars to prove their skills in this new competition. It will also give the fans of the Formula 1 races the possibility to see whether the big Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen can convert their skills on the tracks to the virtual world.

To guarantee the safety of all the participating drivers during this time, each competitor will be joining the race remotely through a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London.

Some Formula 1 drivers are already familiar with the game, with some being avid players. There are also, however, drivers who have no experience. Because of these different levels in skills, the games will be set up in a way to produce races that are both entertaining and competitive, as well as equal and fair. This means that all the cars will be configured with the same performance characteristics and fixed settings. There will be a reduction of vehicle damage as well as optional anti-lock brakes and traction control. No World Championship points will be given to the drivers because, as the organisation has made clear, the purpose of these races is fundamentally to provide entertainment, and to give back fans the racing action they would have otherwise lost.

Broadcast of F1 Esports Series

A live broadcast of the races will be available on the official YouTube channel of Formula 1, as well as on Twitch and Facebook. It is scheduled to run for 1 hour and 30 minutes, including the drivers’ qualifications to determine their grid position according to their fastest lap time.

Formula 1 will also be hosting online exhibitions of races during the weekends were no races are scheduled so that fans can compete with real F1 drivers. 

Virtual Grand Prix at Betsson.com

Even though away from the real track, this Esports version of the Formula 1 Grand Prix is a great testament to how far virtual racing has some in the rise of esports. A new age of competitive, virtual motorsports is already with us, so here at Betsson we’re not missing out.

Tune in for the next race in the Formula 1 Esports series here to place your bets on this unique way of motor racing.