Two drivers next to each other on sim rigs in a studio.
Image credit: @F1Esports on Twitter

F1 Sim Racing: Event 2 Reportedly Postponed, Season in Doubt

F1 23

After the farce at the DreamHack event for the season opener of what was formerly known as F1 Esports, the disputes behind the scenes have cast further doubt on if the season will continue.

For upwards of eleven months, there was radio silence on the F1 Esports/F1 Sim Racing front. After Lucas Blakeley took home the championship in December 2022, the organisation of the championship changed hands from Gfinity to ESL.

But the eleventh hour call for drivers to travel to Sweden for the opening round was met with quite the organisational nightmare. Ongoing disputes between F1 and ESL had not been resolved and the entire event was nearly cancelled. One of the two scheduled races were run, but doubts still lingered.

The remainder of the season had not been officially confirmed, but the second event was set to be run this weekend. That however has seemingly come crashing before the first corner, and it is leaving many people whose livelihoods are reliant on the series being run wondering if the season will even take place.

Drivers Not Happy

Many of the drivers have taken to Twitter to express their frustrations at the organisers. After most likely getting into bother for posting his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter during the uncertainty at DreamHack, Mercedes-contracted Williams driver Marcel Kiefer had the following to say:

“Many people never understood F1 Esports and what it meant for many of us. I came from a family with a poor background and I was never able to showcase my talent due to money – F1 Esports changed that and that was always my main starting motivation. Showing what I can do to one day race in real life.

There was always a show and politics aspect like in any sport nowadays, but it didn’t dominate the fact that at heart it was a competition. I feel like ever since a time in 2021, we are drifting more and more away from what we once were. All of this really makes you question as a driver, if this is what you fell in love with.

Put yourself in the shoes of the drivers: since 2021 there has been major exploits being used within the competition (car physics changing (60fps)), over the course of 2021 and 2022 cheating became a massive topic as it was too easy on the game and until today there is still no proper anti-cheat. Not just those things, but the cars ever since 2021 were not 100% equal and until today we still believe car setups don’t work identical on each car, so there are differences (not on the FOM multiplayer car).

This year we were all excited after the pandemic and during it we were always racing online. We were set to go back to LAN bigger than ever, longer season, bigger events. And what was the outcome? No communication, leaving us in the dark not knowing what we are actually practicing for.

You could blame us for this, but there are drivers that quit school, uni, other commitments – focused on this and were maybe damaging their social and family life + relationships because of attempting to achieve their unrealistic crazy dreams that most people won’t understand. Just to hear at the first raceday in Sweden that it is not on? Just to hear one day before going the second event that the event isn’t going ahead either, whilst we literally have no clue why it came to this outcome?

I’m very disappointed and I wish the sport I love so much would do the right thing. To all of the boys and girls that work backstage, in a team, as a driver, engineer or whatever role you have, being affected by this – you are amazing and I’m sorry for all of us.”

OverTake reached out to many people who work behind the scenes for several teams, but none were willing to disclose the very little information they had been told. We also reached to the organisers for comment, but are yet to hear anything as of the publication of this article.

EDIT 15/12/2023: In a statement to RaceFans.net, a spokesperson for F1 said the following:

“Formula 1 can confirm that event two of the F1 Sim Racing 2023 World Championship has been postponed, F1 will continue to work with the esports teams and partners and will provide a further update in due course.”

Do you believe F1 Sim Racing will see out the season? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Biggest esports racing fan in the world.