With the majority of real-life sport cancelled in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, virtual sports are admirably stepping up to the plate. We’ve already noted how football teams are looking to fill the void – and the motorsport world did an impressive job of putting on a show for fans left without any real racing to watch.
F1’s season-opening Australian GP was cancelled, as was the Indycar curtain-raiser at St Petersburg, but top talent showed up at a number of virtual races held in their place. The Race and Torque Esports put on a show that managed to become the most-watched esports event yesterday, with the likes of Max Verstappen, Simon Pagenaud, Felix Rosenqvist and Neel Jani getting together for a series of rFactor 2 races.
Elsewhere McLaren star Lando Norris took part in Jean Eric-Vergne’s NotTheAusGP (alongside, bizarrely, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois) – although seeing how Norris fluffed the formation lap, you might not have known he’s already got an impressive debut F1 season under his belt.
SOUND ON! THIS IS BRILLIANT !! When @LandoNorris gets confused during the formation lap of #NotTheAusGP ! You guys made my day @_aarava & @Tiametmarduk @VeloceEsports #F1Esports #Esports #VeloceEsports #VideoOfTheDay #Racing #LOL pic.twitter.com/RtVUoKgFLA
— Jean-Eric Vergne (@JeanEricVergne) March 16, 2020
Given how real racing isn’t set to resume for some time, the virtual exploits are going to continue for the next few weekends – providing a welcome spectacle for fans cooped up at home.