How esports racing changes the future of Formula 1

How Esports Changes the Future of Formula 1

The Formula 1 wants to change their formats with the help of esports simulations.

Photo credit: F1 2020 Twitter

The esports racing scene is currently booming. But despite all the attention from mainstream media, motorsports stars racing in esports tournaments and new brands entering the world of digital circuits, there are still many areas in which the scene can be professionalized.

Our author Josh Suttill shares this sentiment, as you can read in his recent column on how the F1 Esports Series should be improved. One of Josh’s main points of views: the esports world should work closer with traditional motorsports.


Improving F1 with esports racing

Formula 1 is taking some steps in this direction. The highest class of international single-seater racing includes esports racers more and more in their every-day operations. The next mission for heroes on the virtual tracks: test new formats and situations in F1.

In the past few years, Formula 1 tried out different qualifying formats to bring some changes into the main race. Neither the participants nor the community were completely satisfied with the results. The next changes will now be put to trial before implementing them on the grid. Professional esports racers will test new formats such as reverse-grid qualifying and different starting arrangements with a purpose-built simulator.

The esports racers are all signed officially by the Formula 1 teams. New potential changes will be examined with simulations that can also analyze and reconstruct issues that occurred in recent motorsports races. One example is a safety car restart that caused a pile-up crash at the Mugello Circuit this September. Simulations are a practical way of testing potential solutions to avoid the repeat of a dangerous scenario in the future.

Simulations can also deliver valuable data and statistics, and the testing environment is a long-term project. Pat Symonds, Formula 1’s CTO, shared the following with Motorsport Magazine: “[…] It’ll be late next year by the time we’re really starting to use that and by then we’ll have found things we need to be improving on it. 2022 will be a development year with that, ’23 will be the year when it gives us some good directions.”

Have impact on F1 by sharing your opinions

You don’t have to be a professional esports racer to have impact on the future of F1. On top of making use of simulations, artificial intelligence that gathers feedback from the community on social media will also be used, as Symonds explains:

“We’ve started a project and getting our first results now from linguistic analysis of social media, particularly on Reddit. The Formula 1 community on there is a very large one and we’re doing analysis on that and looking at the sentiments of the linguistics that are being used. Once we’ve developed the mathematics, we’ll start moving that to other forums like Twitter so we understand our different kinds of fans.”

If you want to learn more about the plans of F1 Esports and their testing grounds, you can also check out our Nitro Nights Episode with Head of Esports from F1, Julian Tan.

What do you think about Formula 1’s plans to use esports racing? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!