Ferrari have joined their other nine Formula 1 rivals by fielding a team in the third edition of the F1 based Esports Series as the world of virtual racing and real racing merge even closer.
This is what organisers had to say ahead of the new season:
Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, has today announced that ten teams have been confirmed to compete in the 2019 Formula 1 New Balance Esports Series, for the first time since its inception in 2017.
Now in its third season, Formula 1 is extremely excited to confirm that Ferrari along with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, Alfa Romeo Racing, McLaren F1 Team, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team, Renault F1 Team, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team and ROKiT Williams Racing will all be competing in the series through their esports teams, making this the biggest and most ambitious season yet.
All ten teams will take part in the Pro Draft which will take place over two days in July and is where the official F1 teams will select the drivers they want to add to their roster to represent them in the Pro Series.
A number of high stakes race-offs on day one will identify the best of the best from the drivers that successfully navigated the online qualifying phase. The slowest drivers will be eliminated, while the fastest will make up the final pool from which the teams will make their picks on day two. Every official F1 team must select at least one of its drivers from the Pro Draft.
After the Pro Draft, the teams and their drivers will compete in the Pro Series, with a total of twelve races being contested over four live events between September and December 2019. In the Pro Series, the drivers will compete on F1 2019 by Codemasters, the official game of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
These races will determine the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series Teams’ and Drivers’ World Champions, with an increased prize fund of $500,000, more than double that of last year’s prize fund.
Julian Tan, Head of Growth and F1 Esports, Formula 1, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to welcome all 10 teams to take part in the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Series for the first time.”
“Last year saw amazing growth for the series and with the commitment of Ferrari completing the virtual grid, we continue to elevate the series to greater heights as we further align our virtual and real world sports, creating one of the world’s most innovative esports offerings whether in motorsports or beyond.”
“As the ten teams all vie for a cut of the $500,000 prize fund, this is going to be the biggest season to date,” added Tan.