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The virtual Grands Prix will see the current drivers line up alongside a few stars
Formula 1 will be replacing the postponed races on the calendar with virtual grand prix, that will be held instead of the real deal. Formula 1 already runs a popular E-Sports series with some pretty talented sim racers competing for the coveted virtual championship title. This new initiative will run independently of that, with the real world F1 drivers taking part in the races on the F1 2019 PC game. The first race is the Bahrain Grand Prix and it will take place as scheduled — on Sunday, March 22 at 8:00 PM GMT which translates to 1:30 AM IST, on March 23 for us folks.
The virtual Grands Prix will run at half the length of the actual races, meaning 28 laps in the case of Bahrain. A qualifying session will decide grid positions. In case of Bahrain, the grid will see professional sim drivers, actual Formula 1 drivers and a yet-to-be-announced roster of stars. Now, not all drivers are as good as Lando at the games, and therefore everyone will get cars with equal performance and fixed setups with the drivers getting an option to keep traction control and ABS switched on. The virtual races will run till May and will continue further if the COVID-19 pandemic results in more Grands Prix getting cancelled. On weekends where there are no races scheduled, there will be exhibition races held that will allow fans to race against the drivers! Needless to say, there are no actual world championship points up for grabs here. You can stream the race on www.formula1.com or the official YouTube, Twitch and Facebook pages of Formula 1. We think it is a fantastic initiative by the company, we get to see some exciting racing action every weekend, everyone is playing remotely so the safety aspect is taken care of too. Another exciting aspect will be seeing a completely equal grid, in terms of cars at least, with only skill and strategy at play. Who are you backing in the virtual Grands Prix?