Widespread sickness may have cancelled Formula 1 racing this year, but the racing association has taken their Grand Prix series online. F1 intends to hold every cancelled GP online, starting with today’s virtual Grand Prix Bahrain. Today’s Grand Prix Bahrain was a 25% length race—14 laps—on PC in F1 2019. The driver lineup for the race was a mix of real-life drivers and racing game streamers, plus chat favorite Lando Norris, who is both—Norris is a racer for McLaren who commonly streams both iRacing and PUBG. There’s also Paul Chaloner, known as ReDeYe, a major host and presenting personality who you’ve likely seen on a stage if you watch much esports. You can watch the race below, at about an hour and 40 minutes long.
The post-match interview with Formula 2 racer Guanyu Zhou is interesting to hear. “It’s a simulator that you can get as close to the reality as possible,” said Guanyu Zhou. For all that it was close to reality, there was more than enough silliness going on. Zhou competed “suited and booted” as though it was a real race. Johnny Herbert just… skipped the first turn. Broadbent did a tender ram to knock Lando Norris out and take his finish position. Watching veteran racers eat dust because they’ve barely played the game is also a treat… especially as they steadily and rapidly improve.
The next match in the F1 series will be in two weeks, a virtual Grand Prix Melbourne to make up for last week’s cancelled race. If the schedule keeps up, you’ll then watch You can check out the F1 esports coverage on the official twitch.tv/formula1 channel or on the F1 website.