The Corona virus doesn't stop at Formula 1 either: Just like the Bundesliga, the current season is currently paused and the drivers now have to spend their time elsewhere.
After the traditional Derby FC Sevilla against Betis Sevilla of the Spanish football league was contested by players of the club in Fifa 20 and ensured over 60,000 spectators on Twitch, Formula 1 has now followed suit: professional drivers contributed on Sunday, March 22 2020, the virtual Grand Prix of Bahrain in F1 2019. You can see the full race in the YouTube video:
Bulk billiards & bot becomes a fan favorite
Originally, it was planned that the starting positions of the race should be determined in qualifying and then a race over 28 laps – half the number of laps of a real race – should take place.
While qualifying was still relatively smooth – only Lando Norris missed it due to technical problems – it became apparent during the actual race that virtual Formula 1 cannot really be compared to its real counterpart.
There was already one at the start of the race large billiards, which was triggered by the German representative Nico Hülkenberg. While such a crash usually means an early end for those involved, after a brief contact with the wall they were able to continue unscathed.
Other curious events during the race:
- Singer Liam Payne did not know that Formula 1 cars had more than six gears, so she was slow and finished last.
- There were numerous accidents during the race because the amateurs in particular drove relatively ruthlessly.
- The race had to be shortened to 14 instead of 28 laps and ultimately only lasted around 20 minutes.
- Lando Norris had connection problems and missed qualifying and the first ten laps of the race. The AI took over for Lando, fought its way from last to sixth place and was lovingly baptized LandoBot by the audience.
– Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) March 22, 2020
Chinese Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou (Renault) won, followed by Stoffel Vandoorne and Philipp Eng, two other racing professionals.
In addition to the Formula 1 pros Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams), the German ex-Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg and the Austrian racing driver Philipp Eng took part. Other celebrities such as singer Liam Payne, former professional golfer Ian Poulter and six-time track cycling Olympic champion Chris Hoy were also part of the driver lineup.
The first race of virtual Formula 1 was a great success, at least for the spectators: Up to 300,000 people watched the stream simultaneously on YouTube and Norris' Twitch channel; the YouTube video has received over 3,500,000 views in less than 24 hours.
More races will follow in the coming weeks, the next thing is the Vietnam Grand Prix on the racing calendar.