Ferrari finally signs up to F1 eSports championship

Ferrari logo. 08.06.2018
© XPB 

Ferrari has opted to enter a team in this year's Formula 1 eSports Series, the first time that the Scuderia will compete against the other nine F1 teams in the virtual arena.

Ferrari had been the only team to decide against taking part in last year's championship, which was won by Mercedes.

F1's Head of Growth and eSports Julian Tan hailed Ferrari's decision to join their peers as a "major milestone" for eSports.

"It's one of the first projects outside of the racing that has the participation of all 10 F1 teams," he commented on Friday."We're really excited to have Ferrari on board and to complete the grid.

"From the very beginning the north star for the programme was to align the world of Esports, which is booming, with the magic of Formula 1.

"The closer those two worlds are aligned, the more special the product we're able to deliver," he continued. "Having Ferrari come in and complete the grid is another step forward in confirming the authenticity of what we're doing.

"It's really exciting to see that all of F1's teams have bought into the vision, that they see the huge potential of esports within Formula 1.

"They recognise the importance of the programme as part of our wider objective of reaching out to a new audience," he pointed out.

As well as Ferrari, Formula 1 confirmed that Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Haas F1, Renault F1, Toro Rosso Honda, Racing Point F1and Williams Racing will all be returning.

Ferrari had initially been resistent to the idea, with former team principal Maurizio Arrivabene suggesting that F1's biggest existential threat was PlayStation competition. However his successor in the role Mattia Binotto recently revealed that the team was "seriously" looking at entering the eSports Series.

Ferrari's decision means that the team will now take part in next month's Pro Draft that allows teams to select drivers to represent them in the competition from candidates who have successfully completed the online qualifying phase.


It's not known how many of last year's drivers will return for another season, or whether reigning champion Brandon Leigh will be back to defend his title after a dominating campaign in 2018.

Tan said the line-up was "very much under wraps at the moment," but added: "for sure you can expect to see a few familiar faces.

“We’ve already had this huge expansion in our online qualifying competition," he continued. "Our draft is going to be bigger as we have all ten teams involved, and all of them will be picking at least one driver from the draft."

Once the teams have selected their drivers, the competition will beheld over four live events between September and December with drivers competing at multiple simulated venues representing circuits currently on the F1 calendar.

Formula 1 has announced that the prize fund for the competition will be raised to $500,000 compared to the $200,000 shared out at the end of last year, with Tan pledging that "Season 3 is going to be bigger and better!"

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