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With the official F1 Virtual Grand Prix proving a hit at the beginning of the 2020 F1 season, Formula 1 have made the decision to bring it back again for 2021.
With the 2020 Formula 1 season being so disrupted, Formula 1 made the decision to hold virtual Grand Prix. This was an opportunity for F1 fans to watch their favourite drivers and celebrities competing using the F1 2020 video game.
While the real life season was in limbo, the Virtual Grand Prix proved a hit success. Drivers such as Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Charles Leclrec and George Russell all took part, alongside celebrities such as Sergio Aguero and Ian Poulter.
There was some good racing on the virtual track, with George Russell stealing the show. He showcased his class, and took the title of #VirtualGP Champion.
With over 30 million viewers, and a delayed start to the 2021 Formula 1 season, the decision was made to bring back the Virtual GP series.
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 14, 2020
The 2021 Formula 1 official Virtual Grand Prix series is penciled in to start on the 31st January. This is much earlier than the 2020 season started, and should give us the opportunity to watch a full mini series of races before the official season start in March.
Currently there is three races scheduled, which are all set to take part on consecutive weekends from the 31st January through to February. The official dates are Sunday 31st January, Sunday 7th February, and Sunday 14th February.
This year will see a slightly changed format. Similar to Formula 2, there will be a shorter sprint race, although this one will only be five laps.
The sprint race will only be participated by professional sim racers, and their finishing position will form the order of the grid for the main feature race.
The feature race will then feature a complete grid of professionals and celebrities. And it will be across a 50% race distance.
The finishing order of this feature race will form the championship table, where points will be awarded just like real Formula 1.
The championship standing will be tracked across all races and will be used to crown the champion.
The great news for the 2021 F1 Virtual Grand Prix, is that there will be a prize fund. This prize fund will be given to the charities of the participants, meaning drivers have a real incentive to perform well.
The prize fund will be distributed based on the final championship order at the end of the season.