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F1 drivers will compete in new eSports season – here’s how to watch

How are you coping without live sports? Hopefully better than us. We’ve resorted to watching the goldfish compete for food pellets, in lieu of any proper action.

This weekend was supposed to be the Bahrain Grand Prix in Formula 1, but like almost every truly global sporting event, it has been postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, that won’t stop the drivers expressing themselves competitively during the break.

Formula 1 has announced a new eSports season, during which some of the top drivers will face off on the PC version of the F1 2019 video game from Codemasters.

The F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series will commence this Sunday March 22, with drivers joining the race remotely alongside celebrities to be announced over the weekend. There’s no news yet on which of the drivers will be participating in the event.

Related: F1 2019 review

Qualifying and the race will be broadcast on the official F1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels and will consist of a 28-lap race on the virtual Sakhir track, which was to be raced on for real this weekend. There’ll be a qualifying period too and the whole stream is set to last for around 90 minutes, starting at 8pm UK time.

With the F1 season on hiatus, the real-world race will be replaced with a virtual Grand Prix from the same track until at least May. During non-race weekends, regular gamers will have the opportunity to compete against F1 drivers in head-to-head competition.

In our review of  F1 2019, we awarded the longstanding series 4/5 stars, praising the beautiful visuals, marvellously terrifying racing experience and engaging scripted story mode.

Our reviewer wrote: “F1 2019 is the best release in the series so far, but the iterative design of the franchise combined with Codemasters’ trademark care and attention for racing makes that perhaps unsurprising.  It’s bigger and better than those that have come before, with the addition of Formula 2 and a few additional tweaks making it a game purists will find as an essential upgrade to last year’s F1 2018.”

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