Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix Series to replace postponed or cancelled races
Formula 1 is to launch the 'Virtual Grand Prix Series' featuring "a number of current F1 drivers" to run in place of postponed or cancelled races.
Various esports competitions quickly popped up as real-world racing events disappeared from calendars in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and F1 has now joined the trend, with the new series beginning with a race in Bahrain on Sunday, March 22 at 8:00pm GMT.
Each subsequent race to be postponed or cancelled will be added to the competition and, although the broadcasts will initially be made from the Gfinity Esports Arena, drivers will join remotely in order to protect the health of those involved.
The competition will be run on the Formula 1 2019 game, the same as used in the official Formula 1 Esports Series last year.
Organisers have confirmed the Dutch and Vietnam Grands Prix, raced at circuits new for 2020 so are not on the existing game, will be competed on alternate tracks.
Formula 1 Head of Digital Business Initiatives and Esports, Julian Tan, 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."
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