Ben Stokes ready for virtual Formula One race

With the F1 season affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the sport is planning to run virtual races on the scheduled race weekends.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will trade his cricketing gear for some virtual fun when he competes in the Formula One Esports race on Sunday.   -  FILE PHOTO/AP

 

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will trade his cricketing gear for some virtual fun when he competes in the Formula One Esports race on Sunday.

With the F1 season affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the sport is planning to run virtual races on the scheduled race weekends. Gamers, celebrities and F1 drivers are taking part in these events.

The first such race was held on March 22, the day the Bahrain GP was supposed to be held.

The second round will see current Formula 1 drivers Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell, Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi taking part. The F1 quintet will be joined by former driver Johnny Herbert, who finished 13th in the inaugural race in Bahrain, as well as a host of other stars including Stokes, with more names set to be announced in the coming days.

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This weekend’s virtual Grand Prix is the second race in the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series, which gives fans a chance to watch Formula 1 races virtually, despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

This weekend’s Grand Prix will take place on the Albert Park track, traditionally used for the Australian Grand Prix, on the weekend originally scheduled for Hanoi’s inaugural Street Circuit race in Vietnam.

The Vietnam circuit is currently not available on the 2019 official F1 video game so drivers will show off their skills on the Albert Park circuit.

Drivers will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from the Gfinity Esports Arena from 8 pm (BST) on Sunday (00.30 IST, Monday).

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, followed by a 28-lap race.

Due to the wide variety of gaming skill levels among the drivers, game settings will be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing. 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.

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