F1 2019 Being Used To Host Cancelled Formula 1 Races

In lieu of on-going race postponements and cancellations due to the global spread of COVID-19, Formula 1 is having its races moved online with the help of Codemasters’ F1 2019.

The F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series was announced by the FIA today–an online event that will see current F1 drivers and special guests battling it out on the circuits that would’ve played host to championship races on their respective weekends. The event starts this Sunday, with the postponed Bahrain Grand Prix now giving way for the first instalment of this series. It will be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch starting at 20:00 GMT (or 13:00 PST).

Driver will be racing on the same circuits where possible, partaking in short qualifying sessions before engaging in a 50% length race in F1 2019. Despite all the skill required to drive these cars in real life and the attention to detail in Codemasters’ simulation recreation, settings and team-specific advantages will be levelled out in order to provide the most entertaining races possible.

Almost like the real-world gap between teams is exactly what is depriving the sport of so much entertainment lately. Anyone familiar with Formula 1 will be well aware of Mercedes’ domination over the sport since the start of the turbo-hybrid era, and the increasing gap between the top of the pack and lower-order teams thanks to uncapped expenditure on research and development. Problems that should be solved with rule changes that have been delayed to 2022, but ones that mean nothing on the virtual playing field presented here.

During weekends with no scheduled races, players from around the world will be able to play with F1 drivers during exhibition events, the details of which will be announced in the near future. If you’re struggling to get your F1 fix with the season start delayed until at least the end of May, you should check out our 9/10 review for F1 2019 and perhaps pick it up.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.