Williams F1 has announced the launch of a new official eSports team, managed by JIM Racing founder Javier Guerra.
The announcement was made by the team in Barcelona ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
"eSports gives Williams an opportunity to compete in a burgeoning industry," the team said in a press release on Thursday.
"[It provides] both new and existing fans with opportunities to engage with the team in a diverse and accessible arena."
With the exception of Ferrari, all current Formula 1 teams have committed to setting up and entering their own eSports teams in the second edition of the virtual F1 world championship, which uses the official licensed Codemasters F1 games.
Guerra will co-ordinate and develop the team’s activities. JIM Racing will continue as Williams JIM Racing Junior - another route for gamers to graduate to Williams eSports in the future.
“eSports has grown dramatically in recent years to become a huge global industry," said Guerra. "So we’re eager to take on the challenge of growing sim racing’s place in the eSports world.
"We’re looking forward to developing our roster of drivers, offering a select number the incredible chance to become part of the Williams family."
The first three drivers signed to the Williams eSports roster are Javier Perez, Jani Vitsaniemi and Bernardo Perez.
The team will run competitions for gamers to earn their place on the roster for a variety of sim racing competitions during the season.
“Gaming and motorsport have had strong links for many years," commented Steven English, Head of Creative Services at Williams
"Now eSports is an innovative part of the sport and entertainment landscape, so this is a natural evolution of our competitive spirit.
"We’re ambitious about developing opportunities for our fans and our partners in this new and exciting space for us.”