Virtual Grand Prix Series launched to replace postponed races

Monaco Grand Prix Postponed After Prince Albert Tests Positive for COVID-19

By bringing F1's regulatory shutdown forward and extending it to three consecutive weeks at any point during March and April, F1 is attempting to adapt to the challenges presented by the coronavirus while simultaneously planning for the greatest amount of flexibility in rescheduling races.

Due to the varying levels of skills between regular players and F1 drivers, there will be fixed setups and equal auto performance - plus reduced vehicle damage.

As you may be able to infer, the Virtual Grand Prix will take place within F1 2019 for PC.

Formula One and motorsport's governing body, FIA, had initially postponed the race but the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) later clarified the event would not go ahead for the first time since 1954.

The broadcast, which will be available on the official Formula One YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, is expected to run for one-and-a-half hours, including qualifying to determine grid positions.

A number of current drivers on the Formula 1 grid will be competing in an esports series as a result of the postponed races.

Formula One has replaced races postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus with an Esports Virtual Grand Prix series that will see current drivers battle it out online.

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F1 had traveled to Australia for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix a weekend ago but the race was cancelled before cars hit the track.

Each driver will race remotely for health and safety reasons while a broadcast will be live from the Gfinity Esports Arena with the drivers yet to be announced.

"We're excited to be a part of the new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series", Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier added.

Two different alternative races occurred last weekend. The series is strictly for entertainment purposes, so unfortunately, none of the eSports players are able to win the actual F1 title without ever stepping into a auto.

The FIA, Liberty and all the teams have voted "unanimously" to also delay the start of the new era of Formula 1 from 2021 to 2022. Should the virus pandemic continue to cause event postponements, this calendar may cover further races too.

F1's Head of Digital Initiatives Julian Tan stated that these challenging times are an opportunity "to highlight the benefits of eSports and the incredible skill that's on show". "It's going to be competitive, action-packed, and a lot of fun for everyone involved".

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