Virtual Formula One is the new craze for F1 fans

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By Olivier Ferret

11 May 2020 - 13:09
Virtual Formula One is the new (...)

Like most high profile professional sports, the 2020 Formula 1 season has been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. That has meant spectators, fans and motor racing betting enthusiasts have been denied their usual early season Formula 1 schedule. But Formula One has shown admirable flexibility, opting to move the action indoors in the form of virtual racing.

What has happened so far?

With Formula One cancelled until at least June, all of the races from that first section of the season have been moved online. The Virtual Grand Prix series is being run on Codemaster’s official 2019 Formula 1 PC game and has been made available for fans to follow through YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, and on the main Formula 1 site.

Three races have already been held. Guanyu Zhou of Renault won the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 22, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the second and third races in the virtualcalendar, triumphing in the Australian Grand Prix on April 4 and the Chinese Grand Prix on April 22. There are four more virtual Grand Prix scheduled including the virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix on June 7.

After that point Formula One hopes to return to normal with the resumption of the regular Formula One schedule. Once the season returns to the track we recommend following expert tipsters betting tips to help you land a winner in this exciting motor sport.

Betting on Virtual Formula One

Formula One have done all they can to level the playing field to give drivers who are non-gamers a chance of competing with their colleagues who regularly game. As a result, the game settings are adjusted to maximise competition. The important thing to note for those planning to bet on the virtual races is that there is none of the usual performance discrepancy between cards. All of the vehicles are set to the same characteristics, while damage is reduced. It’s also important to note that at just 28 laps per race, the usual emphasis on endurance and concentration isn’t quite as strong.

Clearly, it will be important for betting fans to spot which drivers are comfortable with esports racing and those that are taking time to adjust. And the fact that all of the cars will be operating at the same performance level will also take some getting used to for Formula One fans!

But the good news is that many of the other aspects of the sport remain the same, including the qualifying sessions in which racers will compete, with the fastest time earning pole position for the big race. This gives fans the chance to see which drivers are in the best form and coping with the demands of the individual track, helping them to decide which to bet on.

For obvious reasons, there will be no markets available on the Constructors or Drivers Championships, so betting will be confined to the race winner and fastest lap time markets. Drivers like Guanyu Zhou, who has shown plenty of ability in virtual racing will be popular with betting fans, while Charles Leclerc is one of the handful of top ranked drivers who seems able to reproduce his real world form on the virtual tracks of Formula One.

Virtual Formula One has certainly caught the imagination of fans, particularly the younger sections of the audience, and with the future of the 2020 season still in question, there is a possibility that fans will be able to enjoy plenty more virtual racing action throughout the summer.

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