Formula 1 will be racing this weekend, at least in the virtual world, with three main events scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, Formula 1 announced the launch of its “F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series”, with a series of events in the coming weeks that will replace the sport’s cancelled or postponed races.
But two other platforms have jumped on the F1 virtual bandwagon in a bid to keep fans entertained.
Here’s a chronological run-down and a timetable of this weekend’s sim meetings:
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Festivities will kick off on Saturday with the second edition of The Race’s All-Star Esports Battle.
When: Saturday at 5pm UK time (1pm EST – 6pm CET). The event will unfold with a succession of qualifying heats culminating in a 30-minute final that will feature 15 pro drivers and 5 sim racers.
Venue: the race will be held on Indy’s road course on rFactor2
The field: past and present F1 stars will include Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nelson Piquet Jr., Formula E stars Antonio Felix da Costa, Neel Jani, Maximilian Gunther and a selection of sim racers, including Rudy van Buren and jimmy Broadbent.
Sunday’s first event of the day, hosted by Veloce Esports, will be the ‘Not the Bahrain GP’ invitational, the second round of a series imagined by reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and which races on Codemasters’ F1 2019.
When: Sunday at 6pm UK (2pm EST – 7pm CET). The event will feature qualifying and a half-distance race.
Venue: Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit.
The field: Lando Norris, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nicholas Latifi will headline the event that will feature a high-ed mix of pro driver and gamers.
Channel: Youtube, Twitch
F1 and Esport’s fans will enjoy a double dose of Bahrain thanks to the first round of F1’s ‘Virtual Grand Prix Series’ which will also run on the sport’s official F1 2019 sim game.
When: Sunday at 8pm UK (4pm EST – 9pm CET). A standard qualifying and race format shall apply.
Venue: Bahrain obviously.
The field: with the exception of Nicholas Latifi, there haven’t been any confirmations yet from F1 regarding participating drivers. But the sport’s main teams won’t be delegating any of their chargers. However, Ferrari has announced that its interests will be represented by Scuderia juniors Robert Shwarzman and Dino Beganovic, while Red Bull’s line-up will feature British Olympic gold medalist and part-time racer Sir Chris Hoy and Austrian Philipp Eng.
Channel: Youtube F1 channel, Facebook, Twitch