Auto Racing Meets eSports at the Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix

In the absence of racing, Formula One gets virtual

Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix
If you can't race in person, why not race virtually?
Formula 1
By Tobias Carroll / March 21, 2020 12:44 pm

At a time when sporting events are being postponed and canceled right and left, what’s an enterprising Formula 1 driver to do? In a time of COVID-19, it’s prompted some to settle a long-running debate over who the better drives actually are: those who drive in competitions for most of the year, or those whose vehicles are a little more virtual?

Zac Palmer at AutoBlog reports that Formula 1 is set to fill the holes in its calendar left by coronavirus-related delays with an innovative solution — and it’s set to begin tomorrow at 4:00 pm. Competing will be a blend of drivers who were slated to compete in the race originally as well as some big names from the world of eSports.

Formula One hasn’t specified which drivers and celebrities will be joining, but we can hope that a majority of the drivers join in. F1 says to expect an announcement soon. The virtual race will be 28 laps, half the usual distance of the real one under the Sakhir floodlights.

Competitors will join the race remotely, for reasons of safety.

Formula One’s announcement of the series notes that this will take the place of the previously-scheduled Formula One season. “Every subsequent race weekend will see the postponed real-world Formula 1 race replaced with a Virtual Grand Prix, with the initiative currently scheduled to run until May,” reads a statement on Formula One’s site.

It might not be quite the same thing as watching physical cars face off against one another — but if you’re looking for something to fill the auto racing-shaped hole in your world right now, this might just do the trick.

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