The drivers will be racing on a bespoke version of the recently released F1 2020 official video game.
The F1 Esports Series presented by Aramco will return for its fourth season, with one of the biggest cash prize funds on offer at $750,000. The action will get underway with the ‘Pro Draft Reveal Show’ on 27 August 2020, where the official F1 teams will reveal their selected roster of talented drivers.
A record-breaking number of participants of over 237,000 attempted to qualify for this year’s competition. The series is also affected by the coronavirus pandemic and will be operating remotely in 2020, with competitors racing from their homes and team factories to ensure the safety of all the teams and drivers involved.
The F1 Esports Series has been more anticipated than ever before following the success of the Virtual Grand Prix series, which featured a host of sports and music stars and achieved over 30m views globally across eight events between March and June in 2020. The 2019 F1 Esports Series saw Ferrari’s David Tonizza crowned drivers’ champion alongside Red Bull, who took home the constructor’s championship.
During the draft teams will announce their line-ups for the 2020 season for the first time, with each team required to add at least one qualifying draft member to their three-driver roster from a group of 45 qualifiers. The 2020 qualification routes saw a record participation of over 237,000 entrants with players competing on traditional consoles and also mobile for the first time.
All-Pro Draft qualifying drivers are available for selection, with no knockout racing qualification as the series adapts to a shorter process due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the online draft and team picks will take place online in advance.
The Pro Series will run between October to December and it will follow the same format as last season with a 12-round championship made up of four online events featuring three races, but races will now be run at an increased distance of 35%. There will also be a new full qualifying format for the 2020 season in line with real-life F1 World Championship.
For the first time, the two winners of the highly successful inaugural season of the F1 Esports Series China Championship – Tang Tianyu and Yuan Yifan – will also be available for team selection after their success in last year’s regional campaign, where they came out on top as the fastest two drivers in the competition.
F1 Esports Pro Series drivers will be racing on a bespoke version of the recently released F1 2020 official video game developed by Codemasters, with equipment provided by official supplier Fanatec. Points scoring will once again follow real-life World Championship rules, with DHL rewarding an extra point to the driver with the fastest lap.
The head of digital business initiatives and Esports, Julian Tan said, “F1 Esports has had a huge year with the massive success of the Virtual Grand Prix series that we ran through the lockdown. This has set us up well for the launch of the 2020 F1 Esports Series which will be our biggest and most innovative season yet. With over 237,000 participants this year, up from 109,000 participants in 2019, we are seeing incredible growth. We are also offering our largest ever cash prize fund of $750,000 which is industry-leading as well as continue to innovate by adapting quickly in the current landscape.”
This year’s Pro Series will provide fans with more content than ever before with eight live broadcasts, doubling last season’s offering. There will be live racing on Wednesday and Thursday across an event week, and this season will also see the introduction of supplementary live-streamed qualifying sessions on both days further adding to the content proposition for fans across the globe.