Under normal circumstances, this weekend would have marked the second race of the 2020 season, but these are by no means normal times!
The coronavirus has brought a halt to motorsport activities across the globe, but Formula 1 hopes to provide some entertainment in the form of a virtual Bahrain Grand Prix to replace the vacant on-track action.
When and where?
The event will take place today (Sunday 22nd) at 20:00 GMT and will be live-streamed from the Gfinity Esports Arena across several platforms, including F1’s official YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels. Sky Sports F1 will also be broadcasting the event live (Sky channel 406, Virgin channel 506).
The event will consist of a qualifying session and a 28-lap (50% distance) race at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The race will be run on Codemasters F1 2019 game (PC). The game settings will be fixed to ensure equal car performance, reduced vehicle damage, as well as optional anti-lock brakes and traction control.
F1 has invited all current drivers to take part, though it looks likely that the vast majority will sit this one out.
“We’re still speaking to the teams and we’re pushing as much as we can we’re hopeful that we can get as many F1 drivers on the grid as possible,” commented F1’s head of digital business and ESports Julian Tan.
Currently the only confirmed F1 driver is rookie Nicholas Latifi, who will race for Williams of course.
Olympian Chris Hoy and DTM driver Philip Eng will form team Red Bull after Max Verstappen opted to take part in a different virtual event earlier in the day.
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Mercedes||Stoffel Vandoorne||Esteban Gutierrez|
|Ferrari||Robert Shwarzman||Dino Beganovic|
|Red Bull||Chris Hoy||Philip Eng|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||Nicolas Hamilton|
|Renault||Ian Poulter||Guanyu Zhou|
|AlphaTauri*||Matthew Trivett||Luca Salvadori|
|Racing Point||Nico Hulkenberg||Jimmy Broadbent|
|Alfa Romeo||Johnny Herbert||Lauri Happonen ‘Cyanide’|
|Haas||Anthony Davidson||Paul Chaloner ‘Redeye’|
|Williams||Nicholas Latifi||Liam Payne|
*AlphaTauri will be run as Toro Rosso in the game.