Formula 1 Announces Virtual Races for 2021 Season
In the light of the COVID-19 situation, nothing is for certain these days. Events in all major sports leagues are getting postponed, and no one can say for sure when we will go back to normality. In a sport like Formula 1, where thousands of team members and officials are travelling around the globe to race in different countries, the situation is even trickier.
As a result, Formula 1 has taken an unprecedented step and announced to run a virtual Grand Prix series. Starting on Sunday, March 22, with the Bahrain Grand Prix, F1 will replace each race in the calendar with a virtual racing event until further notice. What’s best; drivers of the current Grand Prix season are going to take part of the Esports virtual event, although it is still unclear who is going to race. Max Verstappen is known as a huge fan of console racing, and it’s almost a certainty that he will be part of it.
2021 F1 Calendar of Virtual Grand Prix Races
The 2021 calendar for virtual F1 races starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix and continues to replace each real-world event with a Virtual Grand Prix. At this point, the Formula 1 is planning to do so until May when it will re-evaluate the situation based on state of the coronavirus pandemic. Here is an overview of all races in the 2021 F1 calendar.
- Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, 18-21 March
- Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, 25-28 March
- Vietnam Grand Prix [Potentially cancelled, no official confirmation yet]
- Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, 2-5 September
- Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, 6-9 May
- Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, 20-23 May
- Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku, 3-6 June
- Canadian Grand Prix, 10-13 June
- French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, 24-27 June
- Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, 4-6 July
- British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 27-29 August
- Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, 30 July-1 August
- Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 27-29 August
- Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 9-12 September
- Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay, 30 September -3 October
- Russian Grand Prix, Sochi, 23-26 September
- Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, 7-10 October
- United States Grand Prix, Austin, 21-24 October
- Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, 28-31 October
- Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paolo, 11-14 November
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina, 2-5 December
- Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, 8-11 April
The calendar is subject to change based on the COVID-10 outbreak. The moment more Virtual Grand Prix races get announced, we’re going to update this page accordingly.
Virtual Grand Prix Series Uses Official F1 2019 PC Video Game
Drivers and other participants (yet to be announced) will compete on Codemasters’ official F1 2019 video game. Each virtual Grand Prix will be 50% the length of the actual race, and the live stream will be available on platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, and Twitch.
And here’s the best part; according to Formula 1, each driver will receive a car with the exact same performance settings. Max Verstappen has said in the past that Lewis Hamilton would only win races because he sits in the best car. Well, know it’s the time to show that you were right, Max!
Betting on the Virtual F1 Grand Prix Series
Some of you might want to know whether it’s possible to place bets on the race outcomes in the F1 Virtual Grand Prix series. At this point, it’s not clear whether betting sites will be able to ramp up their infrastructure and collaborate with Formula 1 to bring this kind of feature to fans and people. However, most bookies already give customers the option to bet on motor racing today. For the best betting sites, have a look at the table below.
How Does Betting on Virtual Motor Racing Work?
Betting on Virtual F1 races is straightforward. At Betway, there is a race every three minutes, each with a duration of two laps. You can place bets on the race winner and if you want, also the Top 2 finish. In both cases, Betway applies the betting type ‘Each Way’ with 1/5 odds for the first three places.
Each Way consists of two bets, a win bet and a place bet. For the win part, your selection needs to win the Virtual Grand Prix race whereas, for the place part of the bet, the choice must finish within the predetermined places. As outlined, Betway applies 1/5 odds for the first three places, which means that 1/5 of the winning odds are paid if your selection finishes in the top 3. The live odds for each racer are displayed on the Betway website directly below the Grand Prix video game race.
Will Bookies Accept Bets For Official F1 Grand Prix Series Races?
As of yet, at Betway or other online bookmakers, you can only bet on non-official motor racing events. Some of you now wonder whether you will be able to place bets on Virtual F1 Races in 2021. At this point, we don’t know the answer.
Online sports books usually take various bets on real-world F1 races, which means it’s theoretically possible to expand this to Virtual F1 Grand Prices as well. However, since the decision by Formula 1 to stream virtual races is brand new, and at this point, no one knows for how long those special circumstances last, there isn’t a definite answer yet.
At this point, we don’t believe that bookmakers will be able to adjust their platforms to accept bets on Virtual F1 Grand Prix Events, however, should the entire season get called off entirely, this will become a whole different ballgame.
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
What is the F1 eSports Grand Prix Series?
The Formula 1 eSports Grand Prix Series is a number of virtual races that replace real-world evens of the 2021 F1 race calendar.
Do current F1 drivers take part in the Virtual Grand Prix Series?
Yes, Formula 1 has announced that as well as current F1 drivers, a number of of stars from the world of entertainment will participate in the first virtual race in Bahrain.
When will the Virtual Grand Prix Series start?
Lights off for the F1 Virtual Grand Prix Series is Sunday, March 22, to replace this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.
Will Virtual Races cover the full distance of the actual race?
No, events in the Virtual Grand Prix Series will be 50% of the length of real-world events. In the case of Bahrain, it’s going to be 28 laps.
Can I place online bets on virtual F1 races?
At this point, you cannot bet on any of the Virtual Grand Prix races. However, this might change in the future and, in the meantime, you can place bets on other virtual motor racing events.