Ferrari have finally entered a team into Formula 1’s e-Sports Championship for this year.
The Maranello team will go up against their nine rivals from the grid in this year’s Formula 1 eSports Series – last year it was won by Mercedes, of course.
With Ferrari now signed up to the series at long last, Formula 1’s head of growth and eSports Julian Tan said via F1i.com: “It’s one of the first projects outside of the racing that has the participation of all 10 F1 teams.
“We’re really excited to have Ferrari on board and to complete the grid.
“From the very beginning the north star for the programme was to align the world of Esports, which is booming, with the magic of Formula 1.
“The closer those two worlds are aligned, the more special the product we’re able to deliver.
“Having Ferrari come in and complete the grid is another step forward in confirming the authenticity of what we’re doing.
“It’s really exciting to see that all of F1’s teams have bought into the vision, that they see the huge potential of esports within Formula 1.
“They recognise the importance of the programme as part of our wider objective of reaching out to a new audience.”
The Scuderia will now participate in next month’s Pro Draft, allowing them to select their drivers from those who have completed the online qualifying phase.
Defending champion Brendon Leigh is yet to confirm if he will return to the competition, while the 2019 grid is being kept “very much under wraps at the moment,” Tan confirmed, but said “for sure you can expect to see a few familiar faces.
“We’ve already had this huge expansion in our online qualifying competition,” he continued. “Our draft is going to be bigger as we have all ten teams involved, and all of them will be picking at least one driver from the draft.”
The prize fund for the competition has been more than doubled this season from $200,000 to $500,000, with Tan promising that “Season 3 is going to be bigger and better!”
The 2019 season will be held over four live events between September and December – drivers will compete at multiple simulated venues representing current circuits of the Formula 1 calendar.