Understanding F1 Esports Series and Virtual Grand Prix

By Melany Moncada

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Feb 4, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

In recent years, we have seen a crossover between traditional sports and esports. Games like FIFA and Madden’s popularity have increased with strong competitive scenes. One sport stands out for having the most immersive esports scene, F1 Esports Series.

The FIA Formula One Esports Series was created in 2017 as a way to get involved with the community and turn young viewers into F1 fans. In 2018, the Formula 1 teams, with the exception of Ferrari, joined the program and started developing their own teams. Ferrari announced its team ahead of the 2019 competitive season. In 2020, F1 hosted a series of Virtual Grand Prix featuring F1 drivers.

During 2020 and 2021, while the official tracks were shut down, F1 drivers kept competing in the Virtual Grand Prix alongside the esports drivers. The teams competed for points and a charity prize fund.

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One of the most interesting parts of the F1 Esports series is how close it is to the real thing. Unlike FIFA and Madden, which are played with a regular controller, F1 esports use special driving wheels with pedals. Professional F1 drivers use simulators to train, these are close to the game. Most of the players that make it to an F1 esports team have a background as real-life drivers. F1 esports is perhaps the only discipline where skills can be transferred from the digital world to the real world and vice versa.

The F1 Esports Series works similarly to regular F1, with drivers using their team’s cars to compete in the official races. The calendar is similar to the one used in F1, and each team has two drivers.

How do you get into F1 Esports Series?

The live stream for the F1 Esports Series is available through the official website.

Those interested in competing can get started from home right now. The F1 Esports Challengers 2023 qualifying is open now. Players who own F1 22 on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC must complete an in-game challenge and score as many points as possible.

In this challenge, the players will be driving McLarens, Lando Norris. They start in sixth place, the position Norris achieved in this race, and they must finish at least in fourth place to score points. The two drivers ahead are Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, two experienced opponents.

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There are no shortcuts when it comes to this challenge. Players must complete it as fast and cleanly as possible. Participating is as simple as registering and linking the F1 Esports account. Once the challenge is completed, players will join the leaderboard and can continue attempting to improve their scores. Drivers have until 11:59 PM GMT on February 14 to complete the challenge.

The best drivers get invited to a qualification process later in the year. The final group of drivers is likely to advance to drafting with the F1 teams. Drivers who miss this cut will get a second chance with another challenge starting on February 15.

At what age can you start F1 Esports?

While there is no age restriction in the game, drivers that are hoping to make it to the final stage must be over 18. Competing in the F1 Esports Series as part of a team requires traveling, signing a contract, and in some cases, moving closer to the team’s facilities.

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