F1 Bahrain Grand Prix is sort of happening this weekend, just not IRL

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In the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading throughout the world a number of major sporting events have been cancelled.

Over the last two weeks the future of Formula 1 for 2020 has been in question what with the Australian Grand Prix being cancelled last weekend, Bahrain postponed this week and several other races being outright cancelled.

In light of these special circumstances, Formula 1 has announced the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which will feature a number of current F1 drivers.

As you may be able to infer, the Virtual Grand Prix will take place within F1 2019 for PC. Each driver will participate remotely and the series kicks off on Sunday 22nd March at 20:00 GMT on Formula 1’s YouTube, Twitch and Facebook pages.

“The series will use the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters, and the first virtual GP on the Sakhir track will be a 50% length race with 28 laps. 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,” Formula 1 explained in a blog post.

Vehicles will configured to encourage “competitive and entertaining racing” as each participant varies in skill level. Options such as anti-lock brakes and traction control will be enabled for those less familiar with the F1 2019 game.

“During non-race weekends, Formula 1 will also be hosting online exhibition races, where fans from around the world will be given the chance to go head-to-head with F1 drivers. More details of these events will be available across the official Formula 1 social media channels in the coming weeks,” said the company.

As for the Dutch and Vietnamese races, as those tracks are not currently in F1 2019, those virtual races will take place at alternative tracks.

“We’re excited to be a part of the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series. With sporting events currently on hold around the world, it’s great that the official F1 video game can help fill the void by bringing together an exciting line-up of talent to race online during the postponed race weekends. It’s going to be competitive, action-packed, and a lot of fun for everyone involved,” said chief executive officer at Codemasters, the developer of F1 2019, Frank Sagnier.

We quite enjoyed F1 2019 and we highly recommend giving it a go if you’re missing F1 as much as we are.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.