Last year, Forbes reported that the average F1 racing team is worth just over $500 million, with Ferrari valued as the most valuable at $1.35 billion, followed by Mercedes ($1.015 billion).
Yesterday, F1 officially postponed the Monaco Grand Prix, which brings in 5%of the country’s annual revenue. There are estimates that Formula One’s loss of revenue this season is already nearly $85 million.
To keep fans engaged in the 2020 season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series has just been announced today by Formula 1.
The virtual races featuring a number of current F1 drivers will run in place of every postponed Grand Prix, starting this weekend with the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday March 22.
However, F1 is clear to point out that this “series is for entertainment purposes only” with no official World Championship points being awarded to a driver.
The first race of the series will see current F1 drivers remotely line up on the grid alongside a host of stars to be announced in due course. “Due to the wide variety of gaming skill levels amongst the drivers, game settings will be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing,” said F1 in a statement. “This includes running equal car performance with fixed setups, reduced vehicle damage, and optional anti-lock brakes and traction control for those less familiar with the game.”
This Sunday’s race will be live from the Gfinity Esports Arena in London (or remotely if necessary) from 9 p.m. CET. The 90-minute broadcast will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels.
Every subsequent postponed race weekend, at least until the end of May, will see the real-world Formula 1 race replaced with a Virtual Grand Prix.
Arfticle first published March 20, 2020.