Formula 1 is helping to provide some form of racing during the coronavirus lockdown, launching a new Virtual Grand Prix series.
A line-up of some current Formula 1 drivers and a host of stars will be announced in due course and the first race in Bahrain will get underway on Sunday March 22 at 2000 GMT.
Participants will join each race remotely with the host broadcast coming live from the Gfinity Esports Arena. Races will be 50% distance and the broadcast, which will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, is expected to run for 1 hour 30 minutes, with a qualifying period where grid positions will be determined based on the drivers’ fastest lap time.
The Virtual Grand Prix initiative is set to initially run until the end of May, but could be extended if the global situation does not improve.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring some light relief in the form of the F1 Esports Virtual GP, in these unpredictable times, as we hope to entertain fans missing the regular sporting action,” said Julian Tan, Formula 1’s Head of Esports.
“With every major sports league in the world unable to compete, it is a great time to highlight the benefits of esports and the incredible skill that’s on show.”