Formula One to hold virtual races instead of Grands Prix during coronavirus epidemic

  • Alex Batt

Formula One have announced they will be hosting several virtual races in place of the Grands Prix that have already been postponed due to the coronavirus.

F1 is one of many sports that have been dismantled and battered by the ongoing epidemic, with the Australian Grand Prix already being missed, which was originally scheduled for March 15.

The race Down Under was set to be the 2020 season opener, but that was cancelled after members of the McLaren team tested positive for the virus, leaving officials of the sport no choice but to cancel.

Following on from the decision to postpone the Australian GP, officials then made the tough decision to also postpone races in; Bahrain, Vietnam and China.

Then, just yesterday, F1 made a further announcement, stating that races in Netherlands, Spain and Monaco will also be postponed.

As things stand then, the first official Formula One race this season will be in Azerbaijan and will be the first weekend of June. Of course, a lot can change, however, from now and then.

But, if you are already missing your F1 fix, the top dogs of the sport have come up with a way of providing you with some action.

In an announcement made today, F1 will now be hosting virtual races, with some professional drivers getting involved, in place of the actual Grands Prix themselves.

“Every subsequent race weekend will see the postponed real-world Formula One race replaced with a Virtual Grand Prix,” Formula One said, as per Reuters.

The first race, which will be run on the official F1 2019 PC video game, will be held this Sunday, which is when the Bahrain Grand Prix should have taken place.

Continuing their statement, F1 said: “The first race of the series will see current F1 drivers line up on the grid alongside a host of stars to be announced in due course.

“In order to guarantee the participants safety at this time, each driver will join the race remotely, with a host broadcast live from (London’s) Gfinity Esports Arena.”

It’s not quite the real thing, but at least Formula One are trying to do something to keep their fans entertained.

And let’s be real, it’s probably the only chance other teams have to beat Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

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