F1 Esports have announced a female-only qualification route to earn a place at the Pro Exhibition, offering an opportunity for female sim racers to be selected by official teams for the new Esports season.
The Women’s Wildcard will see female sim experts given the chance to set flying laps on F1 2020, with the fastest qualifier earning one guaranteed place at the Pro Exhibition, to be available for selection by one of the 10 Esports teams run by the Formula 1 teams.
Any potential contestants can practice and submit their best times between Monday 3rd May and Sunday 9th May, to earn a chance of impressing an official team and get signed onto their roster.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 12, 2021
With the aim of the Women’s Wildcard scheme to increase participation from female racers, Formula 1 hopes to bring women to the forefront of the professional competition.
“Female competitors have featured in other F1 Esports events in the past, but thus far there have been no women racing in the professional ranks of the F1 Esports Series,” read a statement from F1 Esports.
“With the introduction of the Women’s Wildcard, it’s hoped that more female racers will be encouraged to take on F1 Esports from a grassroots level, with a view to being the first female driver to be selected by an official F1 Esports team.
“The passion and skill level within the female sim-racing community runs deep, and this exciting new addition to the 2021 Pro Exhibition can only improve the show.”
The growth of Esports within Formula 1 has been exponential in recent years, with the Pro Series heading into its fourth season and the audience for the races growing all the time.
Dutch sim racer Jarno Opmeer won the title last season, run over the course of 12 races on the F1 2020 game which saw 20 of the best gamers in the world compete against each other on the virtual F1 calendar.
Such is the level of interest in the area, both Romain Grosjean and Lando Norris have launched their own esports teams in the past few months.
For anyone new to the world of esports, Formula 1’s official website have released a video explaining the format of the tournament.