Here are five legendary racing icons we would like to see have a go at esports racing.
Photo credit: Roberto Ferrari Flickr, Carmelo DG Flickr
The esports racing scene is booming and more and more celebrities from traditional racing are starting to compete on digital racetracks. But the trend has mostly caught on to the youngest generation of racers, with pilots such as Lando Norris and George Russell who also stream their adventures on Twitch. It would be all the more interesting to see some of the living legends of Formula 1 sit behind the wheel once again and actively compete with each other.
Luminary Alain Prost could probably deliver one of the most exciting matches if he gave his digital debut. The French motorsport legend counts as one of the most successful racers of all time, achieving an outstanding four world championship titles and 51 Grand Prix victories.
Now aged 65, Prost is still driving in competitive races. He regularly participates in the ice racing discipline Trophée Andros. But it would surely be a highlight seeing him compete with other Formula 1 drivers again.
The 1990s featured one of the most thrilling rivalries in Formula 1: Finnish star driver Mika Häkkinen against German icon Michael Schumacher. McLaren pilot Häkkinen did not only rise to fame because of his success and skill behind the wheel, he was also extremely popular for his modest and friendly personality.
Therefore, the racing community was in low spirits when the Flying Finn announced his retirement in 2001. A few years later however, Häkkinen was flirting with the idea of staging a comeback. While he dismissed these plans, esports racing would be a great possibility for him to compete once again against other Formula 1 drivers and show his abilities.
A little bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll wouldn’t hurt the esports scene: British Formula 1 star and passionate guitarist Damon Hill could potentially rock a simulation race as well. The world champion of 1996 is also known for his duels with Schumacher as well as his driving skill. Apart from numerous victories, he also reached the milestone of qualifying for pole position in every race of the 1996 season. Hill also became the first son of a F1 winner to take the championship himself.
Hill is not yet involved in esports racing. However, he already tested out simulations at racing fairs and seemed to have lots of fun. In the past years, Hill hasn’t raced actively in any official tournaments or leagues, so a comeback to the virtual stage would be more than welcome.
Canadian IndyCar and Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve is best described by two attributes: incredibly fast and unique. Not only did he gain attention for his extravagant appearance, with coloured hair and unique clothing style, he also handles things in his own way.
As an example, he recently gave his esports racing debut in The Race All-Star Series – using an Xbox controller to compete. But even with a simple control pad, Villeneuve was able to prove his skill as a former world champion and finished on an outstanding sixth place. We would love to see such a dazzling personality perfom with a real esports racing setup!
In 1992 and ’93, British legend Nigel Mansell set the milestone of being the first and only driver ever to hold the world champions in both Formula 1 and IndyCar at the same time. His opponents often criticized him for his risky and sometimes impetuous maneuvers. Since there are no risks for one’s health in esports racing, Mansell might definitely enjoy driving some digital tournaments as he could both master another discipline as well as bring his adventurous driving style to the next level.
Mansell already tested RaceRoom in 2012 and delivered quite an impressive performance. He would surely have great fun exploring other racing sims and challenging current and former stars.
Which racer would you like to see try out esports racing and compete against others? Tell us on social media!