This Sunday, 22 March, there will be a virtual Bahrain Grand Prix, on the day the actual race should have been held. Then, on the dates of the following real Grands Prix, all currently postponed or cancelled, there will be more of these Virtual GPs.
The first race of the series, featuring Bahrain’s Sakhir Circuit, will see some current F1 drivers line up on the grid alongside a host of stars or influencers 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 (or remotely if required) from 9:00pm (CET) on Sunday March 22.
Unlike other Esports motor racing, where competitors are all at a high level, the idea of mixing F1 drivers and “wild card” celebrities from other walks of life, means that the rules will aim for a level playing field. All the cars will have identical set-ups and they can even use anti-lock brakes and traction control, to make these virtual F1 beasts easier to control for novice racers.
The series will use the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters, and the first Virtual GP on the Sakhir track will be run over 28 laps, half a real GP distance at this circuit. We think it’s a great idea, because in these troubled times, with Italy in particular being very badly affected by the virus, there’s no harm in trying to put a smile on people’s faces.
For this first Virtual GP, featuring a deliberately eclectic group of drivers, no doubt producing a very different sort of race, our team is entering two of our friends; the Canadian Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett and Italy’s Luca Salvadori, both known for their love of motorsport and the world of social media.
“Sadokist” is very well known in the world of gaming as the commentator of Counter Strike: Global Offensive. His skills have seen him in the running for the Esports Broadcaster of the year in both 2017 and 2019. Matthew loves racing and when he can he takes to the track in an E46 M3. Salvadori started racing go-karts at the age of 14. He then switched to two wheels, racing professionally in the STK1000 World Cup, part of the Superbike World Championship and he also won the National 600 Supersport title. He was twice runner up in the National 1000 SBK. Our two virtual wild card racers are well known on the web, especially YouTube. You can find Matthew’s videos as part of the “Let’s Go Grassroots” series on The Race channel and Luca has his own channel.