Illustration for article titled F1 Is Cancelled, So Drivers Will Race Each Other In The Official Video Game
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty)

The F1 season, like most major international sports, is currently on hold. And like a growing number of international sports, athletes have found one of the best ways to keep busy is to challenge others online in the video game version of what they normally do for a living.

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So as La Liga’s footballers finish up a weekend of FIFA 20, the organizers of Formula 1 have announced the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which will see “a number of current F1 drivers” playing Codemasters’ official F1 2019 game on PC and having it broadcast worldwide.

Interestingly, because some drivers are pretty good behind a virtual wheel and others aren’t, the competition will “be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing, which is a gentle way of leading into the fact rubbish drivers will be given advantages like “reduced vehicle damage, and optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for those less familiar with the game.

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The races are going to be held on the same days as actual races were supposed to go down, which means the first one should be running any minute now (at time of posting), since the Bahrain Grand Prix was meant to be held today.

To pad out the field, since not every F1 driver will be taking part, a bunch of former drivers, esports drivers and random folks like “Music artist Liam Payne, professional golfer Ian Poulter and six-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy” are being roped in to drive empty seats.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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