The March 22 show featured F1 drivers Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi as well as celebrities like One Direction’s Liam Payne. You can view F1’s highlight reel of that race here.
These virtual races are scheduled through May although F1 did point out that the F1 Esports Virtual GP Initiative could be extended beyond May if the COVID-19 outbreak results in further real-world race cancellations.Some special changes to the game were made to keep the virtual race entertaining including optional anti-lock brakes, reduced vehicle damage and more.
“Due to the wide variety of gaming skill levels amongst the drivers, game settings will be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing,” the announcement reads. “This includes running equal car performance with fixed setups, reduced vehicle damage, and optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for those less familiar with the game.”
No official championship points are up for grabs in these virtual races as these races are being held for strictly entertainment purposes, F1 says. During non-race weekends, F1 will host online exhibition races where fans will be given the chance to race against actual F1 drivers in the game.F1 isn’t the only motorsport turning to digital racing, with NASCAR, IMSA, and V8 Supercars also jumping on board while they’re unable to host real events. In other sports, the MLB, NBA, and NHL have all also seen their seasons postponed. Movie theaters, theme parks, and gaming conferences have been affected too. Here are some ways you can help others and stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.
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