Formula 1 has announced launch of a new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series for the first time to replace postponed races.
The series 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, starting this weekend with the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday March 22.
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 first race of the series will see current F1 drivers line up on the grid alongside a host of stars to be announced in due course.
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) on Sunday March 22.
The race will be streamed live on the official F1 Youtube, Twitch and Facebook accounts and, in an attempt to encourage close racing amongst the varying familiarity of the drivers with the game, the car performance will be set to equal, with drivers able to use traction control, brake assist, etc. as they wish. Damage will also be reduced.
Julian Tan, Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports said: “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.