Formula 1 launches virtual Grand Prix Series to replace postponed races

Real F1 drivers will compete in the virtual Grand Prix.

Image via Codemasters

Formula 1 will organize a virtual Grand Prix Series that’ll use the official F1 2019 videogame, with current F1 drivers.

The virtual races will substitute every postponed Grand Prix starting this Sunday, March 22 with the virtual Bahrain Grand Prix. The initiative is scheduled to run until May, but it can be extended beyond depending on the coronavirus pandemic situation.

This is great news for F1 fans as the races have been canceled since the Australian Grand Prix on March 12. At the moment, organizers have suspended seven races in total and they expect to resume the world circuit on June 7 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The first race will see current F1 drivers line up on the virtual grid alongside a host of stars to be announced soon. Each driver will join the race remotely and the broadcast is set to start on Sunday at 3pm CT on F1’s YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook channels.

For the virtual Bahrain Grand Prix, F1 will be making a 50 percent length race with 28 laps, with the show expected to run for an hour-and-a-half. To encourage competition, the cars will run with an equal setup and reduced vehicle damage.

The virtual series, however, is strictly for entertainment purposes and there won’t be any official World Championship points up for grabs. Also, during non-race weekends, F1 will host online exhibition races, where fans around the world will be given the chance to race against real F1 drivers.

“With every major sports league in the world unable to compete, it is a great time to highlight the benefits of esports,” Julian Tan, F1 head of digital business initiatives and esports said.

You can check up other esports to watch while sports are paralyzed here.