While it is unlikely that the full cast of Formula 1 drivers will feature in the hastily arranged F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series, scheduled to happen at the same time as the races which had been called off, the virtual races are nevertheless a welcome reprieve from the already decimated 2020 Formula 1 season, and it starts this Sunday (or early Monday morning 4.00 am for Malaysians).

The virtual series will be based on the official F1 2019 PC video game developed by Codemaster and will run half the length of a normal race, i.e. 28 laps of the Sakhir circuit – the (virtual) venue of the Bahrain GP.

As not all F1 drivers are into Esports, the game settings will run cars with equal performance and fixed setups, reduced vehicle damage, and optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for drivers who may not be familiar with the game.

Regular Esports exponents such as Max Verstappen and Lando Norris will start as favourites but expect top Esports drivers and reserve team drivers who are typically tasked with simulator duties to give them a hard time. The virtual Bahrain GP is expected to last an hour and half, and you can catch it on Formula 1’s official YouTube channel, Twitch and Facebook page.

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Denis Wong
In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.