Esports is the New F1 Proving Ground

eSports Formula 1, FIA,

Computer games are being taken more seriously in a whole range of sports. However, it is in F1 that Esports come to the fore, with Ferrari taking an active interest in the Esports world, taking down the F1 Esports title in 2019, and many of the up and coming drivers cutting their teeth in Esports simulators before being unleashed on real-life tracks. Here are just some of the ways in which Esports are becoming the new F1 proving grounds.

eSports Formula 1,
Caption: Graphics are so good these days that it is hard to differentiate games from real life.

F1 Esports Taking Off in 2020 with Young Drivers Dominating

2020 has undoubtedly been the breakthrough year for Esports in the F1 world, with the first-ever online Bahrain GP being held in March. That race at the time was seen as something of a gimmick, especially as celebrities and retired drivers were invited to take part.

No doubt this was done to try and salvage viewership figures. But what has transpired since has given F1 Esports a whole new serious feel, with Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon recently engaging in incredible back and forth battles that have had the F1 establishment and fans alike sit up and take note. There are also now serious betting markets open for such events too, with free bets on offer for those fans who want to add an extra level excitement to the online races.

Esports Drivers Already Being Signed to Formula 3 and F1 Junior Teams

To prove that the F1 hierarchy is taking Esports seriously, look no further than new recruits to their F3 and Junior rosters.

The breakthrough signing was Igor Fraga who was picked up from the world of Esports by Charouz Racing System and who has also been brought into the fold at the Red Bull Junior Team.  

eSports Formula 1, SIM
Caption: F1 teams appear content that F1 simulators are now close enough to the real deal.

Chinese Drivers Coming Soon

It doesn’t take an Esports aficionado to tell you that the epicentre of the Esports world is Asia, with tournaments for a variety of games garnering massive prize pools and even bigger viewership figures.

With this in mind, it seems only a matter of time before more Asian drivers, especially from China and Korea, begin to break through into F1.

Access for All to a Previously Elite Sport

The great thing about this digital sport is that it is becoming the go-to for F1 is that it opens the world of racing competition to a far broader demographic. Sure, a fully loaded F1 simulator doesn’t come cheap, but it is certainly less expensive than having daddy take your karting every weekend and then buy your way onto a team.

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