Formula 1

These are the challenges McLaren's World's Fastest Gamer finalists face on finals week

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This week, McLaren are stepping up their search for the World's Fastest Gamer, as 11 virtual drivers compete at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking on Finals week. 

The racers, who have either gone through a tough qualification process or been hand-picked by a judging panel just to make it to this week, are battling it out for the greatest prize in eSports gaming. 

The winner, announced by McLaren next week, secures a one-year contract with the team to become their simulated driver.

The role will have them working closely with race engineers and Formula 1 drivers, giving feedback on the car to Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne throughout next season.

Landing a job like that would be a dream come true for every one of the 11 finalists, but to be in with a shot, they'll have to seriously impress the judges at MTC this week. 

It's not just their driving ability that's being tested. The World's Fastest Gamer's have also been put through their paces on a number of mental and physical challenges that will continue through the week. 

But more importantly, they'll have to get the business done on the track because McLaren have created a number of simulated scenarios for the gamers to take on.

But they're not just any old races.

The finalists will be challenged to complete a series of races close to the constructor's heart, one's in which McLaren have famously won throughout history. 

The first race challenge was at Interlagos, which hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend. But for the finalists, there was a twist. 

They were racing the 1991 edition, which McLaren driver Ayrton Senna famously won by completing his final laps solely in sixth gear following a mechanical failure. 

At MTC this weekend, the World's Fastest Gamer finalists raced a full Interlagos circuit and were challenged to complete the final 10 laps using only eighth gear. 

Greger Huttu was the winning driver, taking the checkered flag in the first of a number of these challenges. 

The second race took place on Monday and the finalists had to complete a full-length Indy 500.

McLaren have a lot of history at the American event, so there's no surprise this featured as a challenge. 

Dutch competitor Bono Huis won this challenge and up next the finalists take on the Japanese GP at Suzuka. 

McLaren's most famous moments on this circuit perhaps came in 1988 and 1989.

Teammates Senna and Alain Prost had a number of run-ins at the front of the pack and their battles for first place will live long in the memory of F1 fans who witnessed it. 

That of course, is a technical and challenging track, but for the World's Fastest Gamer finalists, their biggest challenge will come in the form of Le Mans. 

Once the competitors are whittled down from 11 to six later this week, the ones who managed to qualify will take on a simulated version of the 1995 24 hours of Le Mans race.

It's a race McLaren dominated. The team debuted a new car, the McLaren F1 GTR, shocking the racing world by winning on their first attempt against other faster, purpose-built cars.

In true Le Mans style, the six World's Fastest Gamer finalists will be split into two teams with a coach each. 

They will then race for an exhausting 24 hours, 17 of which will be in the rain, as it was in 1995. But there's another twist. 

Just the two finalists, who won’t even be aware they’re the only ones advancing past Le Mans, will complete the last two hours of the race.

The other four drivers will be knocked out of the finals and it becomes a head-to-head battle for the greatest prize in eSports. 

Having the World's Fastest Gamers compete over challenges like these is a very unique job interview. 

Of course, the winner will have showcased their talents even if they can just complete, let alone win a race as gruelling as Le Mans.

But all the finalists knew what they were signing up for. In fact, there's no better way to audition for the dream job of becoming McLaren's next simulated F1 driver. 

Formula 1
World's Fastest Gamer

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