F1 have reiterated their commitment to the development of ESports by overhauling their competition for the 2019 season and putting up a prize pot of $500,000 for the winning constructor and driver.
The 2018 season garnered an audience of 5.5m views across broadcasters and online and F1 are keen to develop this further by altering the structure of the tournament.
There will be four qualifying windows which allow ESports players to qualify for the prestigious Pro Draft, which will take place in July.
Despite the release date for F1 2019 being moved up to June for the coming year, all qualifying events will be played on F1 2018.
The teams are bound to have at least one of their drivers coming from the Pro Draft, and so across two days in July they will be given the opportunity to select which players will compete for them, from a pool of the fastest drivers on day one.
There will now be four live events between September and December which will determine the Team and Driver world champions for 2019.
Make sure you're strapped in and ready to go - the brand new @F1@newbalance Esports Series kicks off April 8th!
With an impressive set of headline sponsors, including New Balance and DHL, the prize fund for the winners is now an impressive $500,000.
Managing Director of Commercial Operations at F1, Sean Bratches, was keen to promote the exponential growth of the medium of ESports.
He stated: "“Last season was a decisive year for F1 Esports with the inclusion of the first official teams and record audience figures. As we move into this 2019 season, F1 will remain at the forefront of this explosive industry. The potential within this space is extremely exciting both as a commercial opportunity, but importantly, as a way for the sport to engage with the next generation of motorsport fans.
"We are committed to exponential growth in the world of esports, and as a result the 2019 season is going to be even bigger and better. Having more than doubled the prize fund, we plan to attract even more talent to the series and to continue the upward trajectory we are on.”
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