Official Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix Series Announced

F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. We earn a commission from any sale after clicking an affiliate link. Find out more.

Get the latest sim racing guides and car setups each week by subscribing to our newsletter.

Formula 1 has officially announced that they are planning on hosting virtual Grand Prix races on weekends when a real F1 race should be taking place. These virtual races are designed to ensure that there is racing action to be watched by F1 fans during the COVID-19 situation. This situation has caused the official start of the 2020 Formula 1 season to be postponed with many races being cancelled.

All races will take place under the name of the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series.

These virtual F1 races will be held online to avoid public gatherings and will utilise the F1 2019 game by Codemasters as the race platform. Every race weekend where a real-world F1 race should be taking place will be replaced by a virtual race at the correct location. These races start this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

When is the official virtual Bahrain Grand Prix taking place?

The virtual Bahrain Grand Prix hosted by Formula 1 will take place on Sunday 22nd March. The race will start at 8PM (GMT) and will be live streamed by Formula 1. This first grand prix will include some participants from the real-world F1 grid, with F1 drivers such as Nicholas Latifi participating.

The drivers will participate remotely with the race taking place online. And there will be commentary and a full race presentation hosted from the GFinity Esports Arena. This is the same arena used for the official Formula 1 Esports series.

READ MORE – Watch the Veloce Esports Not The Bahrain Grand Prix Live Stream

How will the virtual Formula 1 races work?

Each racers will log in remotely with the racing taking place on a hosted server running Codemaster’s F1 2019 PC game. Each race will be 50% of a real races distance, meaning the Bahrain GP will run for 28 laps. Before each race will be a qualifying session which will determine where each driver lines up on the grid, just like in real life.

Every race will be streamed on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook social channels as well as on their own website. Each broadcast is expected to last around an hour and a half.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Get the latest sim racing guides and car setups each week by signing up to our newsletter.

Not every driver will be close to equal in terms of gaming skill, so Formula 1 will implement measures to try to level the field. Every car will run with equal car performance, meaning no one car will be quicker than the other. There will be reduced damage to allow for closer racing with reduced penalties for those who do collide.

Assists will also be available if a driver prefers. These include traction control and anti-lock brakes. These measures should allow for drivers who aren’t as familiar with the game compete.

The races and race results will be tracked throughout the series, however they wont impact any real-life standings. The series is designed entirely for entertainment purposes throughout the times where no real racing can take place.

What About Races That Aren’t In The F1 2019 Game Such As Zandvoort?

When it comes to races which are new to the 2020 Formula 1 calendar, alternative tracks will be used from the F1 2019 game. This allows for a race to still take place during these weekends at new tracks. This includes the new Dutch F1 race at Zandvoort which was supposed to take place on May 3rd 2020.

Read the official press release on

Grab Your Sim Racing Gear Here

You can use the links below to shop for your favourite sim racing products, or for any products that we may have recommended. These links are affiliate links, and will earn us a small commission, with no additional cost for you.

Author Profile Picture

Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. We may earn commission from any sale after clicking a link. Read our affiliate policy.