Formula 1 Has Taken Their Season Online

Esport racers on driving simulators
Credit: Sky Sports

The first upset for Formula 1 fans was the cancellation of the Melbourne Grand Prix that was supposed to take place on the 15th March. Now with further races being postponed, including up to Monaco, it’s looking like dark times for Motorsport fans.

However, Sunday night, 22nd March, saw a new way for fans to get their Formula 1 fix with 20 drivers gathering – separately – to play the new F1 2019 game online. The best part of this is that it’s officially backed by the racing association and more raced will be held online for every race that is cancelled in real life. With the current state of world events, we can probably see more races like this over the next few months.

20 drivers joined together in a lobby to set a qualifying time. Some of the racers including F1 drivers like Nico Hulkenberg and Lando Norris. Nicolas Hamilton who has has his fair share in being involved with other racing game, he joined in on the fun. Former track cyclist and British Racing Driver Chris Hoy joined Phillip Eng in the Red Bull cars. Stoffell Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez raced in the Mercedes cars another names include F1 announcer on Sky Sports Johnny Herbert, Esport players Guanyu Zhou, Sadokist and Redeye.

Start of a race in Formula 1
Credit: F1

The official stream reach a max of around 60,000 viewers on Twitch. Other people we streaming the event too from their perspective, including Lando Norris who saw 110,000 viewers in his channel. This event seemed to be a success due to those numbers and a great way to take people minds off their troubles and give racing fans something to watch in the meantime.

You can watch the full stream below:

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One great moment from the stream was when Lando Norris, current Mclaren driver for 2020, disconnected from the game a few short laps into the actual race. Starting at the back of the grid Lando got through the first couple of corners without a problem, when his game crashed and an AI driver took over from there. What happened then would have the greats impressed. The AI fought it’s way through the grid to get into 6th place when Lando rejoined the game. Lando went on to come 5th in the whole race! You can watch the race from his point of view here, where he streamed.

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