McLaren's F1 Team Is Hiring the World's Fastest Video-Game Driver

They say college degrees are useless, but damn

By Alex Lauer

 
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11 May 2017

Professional race car driver and video game player are the kinds of jobs you fantasize about as a kid (and as an adult, though we’re less likely to admit it.) The problem, as pops used to say, is they’re not realistic.

Bully for you, McLaren is making both dream jobs attainable — for one lucky person. The British automaker recently announced World’s Fastest Gamer, an esports competition they’re holding to find a new simulator driver to join their Formula 1 team.

This isn’t just some publicity stunt either. The winner gets a real deal one-year contract to “work with engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre and at grand prix circuits across the world.”

As the Verge notes, simulators actually play a big role in F1 racing. The data pulled from practice sessions are helped to improve the performance on any given team's cars. 

As for your actual chances of scoring the gig, McLaren Technology Group Executive Director Zak Brown offers a glimmer of hope: “The contest isn’t limited to one platform or one game; we’re very keen not to restrict access or entry for people, but rather welcome the worldwide gaming community, whether that’s on mobile or on high-end simulator platforms.”

You heard that right: mobile. Even those of you who’ve swapped your PlayStation or Xbox for smartphone games are possible contenders. But with the ever-expanding world of esports, surely there must be some prerequisites? Not so.

“Six international finalists will be hand-picked by experts in both gaming and Formula 1 to join this year’s competition,” reads the company’s statement. “A further four finalists will be selected from qualifying events online during summer 2017.”

That means you, amigo. Stay tuned for more news from McLaren on when these qualifiers will be held, with the top 10 battling it out in a “grand finale” this fall. 

No word on whether or not power gloves are allowed, though.

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