Formula 1 will replace real racing with virtual racing from this weekend, with a virtual Bahrain Grand Prix scheduled this Sunday.
Formula 1 has announced that it has created a ‘Virtual Grand Prix’ series, in place of real racing, for the duration of the coronavirus global lockdown.
With the opening seven races now all either confirmed as postponed or cancelled, F1 has decided to create a virtual series that will hold races on the originally scheduled weekends for the real events.
To start, F1 will hold a virtual Bahrain Grand Prix this Sunday at 8pm GMT, with a 50% distance race scheduled at Sakhir. The participants haven’t been announced yet, but will feature a number of current F1 drivers as well as some unspecified ‘celebrities’.
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.
“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.”
It’s possible that the Virtual series could continue indefinitely, with F1 stating they will hold races until real racing is able to return.
There are no real world rewards or consequences for the races, with the Virtual Grand Prix series purely for entertainment purposes.