F1 introduces new format for recurring Virtual Grands Prix

14-01-2021 17:57 | Updated: 14-01-2021 20:12
by GPblog.com
F1 News
F1 introduces new format for recurring Virtual Grands Prix

Before the official kick-off of the Formula 1 season in March, there will again be a number of virtual Grands Prix. The organisation presented the plans and structure of the digital competition today.

The Grands Prix will be held every Sunday from 31 January onwards, for a total of three races. Participants will, as in 2020, consist of Formula 1 drivers and other celebrities. The eventual winner will walk away with a prize pool which will then be donated to a charity of their choice. 

This year, however, there will be more teamwork. Before each race, F1 Esports Pro Series competitors will complete a sprint race to determine the starting grid. The main race, which is half as long as a normal Formula 1 race, will then feature the drivers and other celebrities. 

Special experience

Julian Tan, who is in charge of esports within Formula One, explained the decision to reinstate the virtual Grands Prix. As quoted by Formula1.com he said: “It’s fantastic to see the F1 Esports Series 2020 break viewing and engagement records after a brilliant championship where we saw competitive racing and high drama at every event.” In total, the 2020 digital races were watched by around 30 million people. 

The organisers of the virtual competition were not only persuaded by ratings, said Tan, as the spectacle is also seen as a great way to boost morale in these difficult times.

"2020 was a tough year for everyone, but we look forward to bringing fans more excitement in 2021, starting with the return of the Virtual Grands Prix as we welcome back some of the faces that made it such a special experience last year, and invite some new ones too, all in the name of charity. Watch this space!”

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