Having tested the waters in recent years with the Pro Series, Formula 1 was not found wanting during the lockdown and reacted immediately by launching the Virtual GP Series for motorsport and gaming fans, running races on the dates of the real races that had been cancelled or postponed. A well honed organisation meant it all went off smoothly, with many real F1 drivers and personalities from the world of sport, show business and the web taking part. Of all the Esports events run over this period, Formula 1 drew the biggest audience.
Scuderia AlphaTauri certainly brought some big names into play, in collaboration with Red Bull Italy and Red Bull Racing Esports. At the wheel of our virtual cars we saw several top line Italian football players such as Ciro Immobile, Alessio Romagnoli and Gianluigi Donnarumma, as well as England international cricketer Stuart Broad. Alongside them we fielded youtubers and content creators including Canada’s Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett and the Italians Nunzio “NU89” Todisco and Andrea Pirillo. We also put professionals behind the wheel, such as Italian motorcycle racer Luca Salvadori, the promising young New Zealander who is part of the Red Bull Junior Team, Liam Lawson and our old friend and former Toro Rosso driver, Vitantonio Liuzzi. For the last race, in Canada, we lined up Biffy Clyro’s Scottish frontman Simon Neil and our own Pierre Gasly.
They made up a real mix of different backgrounds, but they were all big fans of motor sport and Formula 1 in particular. They all gave 100%, putting in the hours training on their simulators and trying their best in the race, which wasn’t always easy, up against some of the best racers from the real and virtual worlds. Hardly surprising therefore, that without fail, after the races, they all talked about getting a major adrenaline rush and how much they enjoyed themselves. It’s not often you get the chance to share the track, albeit a virtual one, with some of the best drivers in the world.
We hope that all these virtual drivers of ours helped keep you company and put a smile on your faces, during the unusual times we are going through right now. We therefore dedicate our Virtual GP “Wild Cards” Collection to all of them!