‘We don’t want F1 drivers getting destroyed by Egamers’

Date published: April 1 2020

Max Verstappen says "everything is heading in the right direction" after week one of testing.

There is hope that the likes of Max Verstappen will want to join the Virtual Grand Prix series if they see other F1 drivers battling at the front.

With no actual Formula 1 races for the foreseeable future, Formula 1 has attempted to fill the void by launching its own Virtual Grand Prix series using the official Formula 1 game.

But, in the virtual Bahrain Grand Prix, only two Formula 1 drivers in the form of Nicholas Latifi and Lando Norris were part of the grid.

Max Verstappen, a keen sim racer, ruled himself out of the competition as he doesn’t play the official Formula 1 game and only races to win.

There is understanding from those who help make and develop the official Formula 1 game that the Dutchman is used to driving on other platforms, but there is still hope he can be tempted to join if he sees that Esports racers are not actually “destroying” Formula 1 drivers.

“When you race in or play any video game, each one’s got its own unique way of playing, I suppose, and you can only devote a certain amount of practice to any game,” Paul Jeal, Codemaster’s F1 franchise director told RaceFans.net.

“So I know he’s very, very serious with a lot of his iRacing and rFactor stuff that he does with Team Redline. So he’s probably in virtual championships and wanted to dominate that.

“I think probably a small part as well, he probably thought that the Esports guys were going to be involved. I think the quote was that he didn’t want to be rattling around at the back.

“We were hoping, once we go through these first few races and you’re seeing, actually, it’s the F1 drivers at the front, all of the ‘real motorsport’ guys at the front.

“So I hope over time that people will see that and start to gravitate more towards it because, what we’re not trying to do is we don’t want them to get destroyed by Egamers. That’s certainly not what we wanted in our series.

“I think if you’re a fan tuning in and Max Verstappen is in 16th place, that’s not really what you’re tuning in for. So I hope over time, actually, he’ll be more inclined to take part.”

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