Could the next Formula 1 superstar come from Esports?

Making it onto a real Formula 1 grid alongside the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel usually involves years of moving through the ranks, and costs millions of dollars to do so. But now, could there be a new, cost-effective way of making it into the sport? While the exact figure may vary from driver to driver, it’s estimated if you were to self-fund your way to the top, you’ll need: The money really starts to ramp up with two years in Formula 3, and that’s before you probably need another two years in GP2.

All in all, there’s around $8 million dollars of driver investment. And even then, there’s no guarantee of getting picked up by a Formula 1 team. Compare that to the roughly $1,000 needed for a console and accessories to hone your driving skills. But does that mean you can really make it from the console to the cockpit? I think it’s good that it’s becoming much bigger and providing more opportunities and best casino bonuses because I think the more people you can have go into racing, the tougher it’s going to get, the more exciting it’s going to get.

Norris will be driving in Formula 1 for McLaren from 2019. And he’s also an avid gamer. However, he’s put the brakes on any idea that sim racing provides shortcuts to a real-world driving seat. The experience of crashing a car and it being costly, you know, you can’t just hit a reset button and go again. But at the same time, the physical side of things which you don’t feel so much on a sim.

You don’t have the G-forces, you don’t feel it on your neck, your body, your arms and legs. Here at McLaren, I think they’re good at preparing drivers in those other areas, but it’s still a very difficult jump. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still intense competition, and big money up for grabs, for competitive gamers. Here at the Formula 1 Esports Pro Series, 18 of the world’s best drivers are competing for a $200,000 dollar prize pot and of course the title of Formula one esports Series champion. This arena in West London may play host to the event, but state-of-the-art simulators like this mean that drivers can be easily transported to famous circuits of Singapore and Silverstone. Nine of the top F1 teams, with the exception of Ferrari, have been competing as part of a 10-round format, now in its second year.

With driver and constructors titles awarded and a prize pool of $200,000 dollars. Winning here is about more than just a race to the chequered flag. And for many of the drivers, it’s a way they hope will show they can do it for real. Esports is a second chance for a lot of people because, as you’ve just mentioned people did do karting as a kid, often ran out of money, so they’ve gone to esports because it’s a low-budget alternative where the racing is actually more intense and closer than real life. My ultimate goal is to get to be the first Formula 1 driver that’s come from F1 esports, but yeah, I think it’s definitely doable.

Formula 1’s former boss Bernie Ecclestone didn’t really see the benefit in engaging with younger fans. Famously saying in 2014, “Young kids will see the Rolex brand, but are they going to go out and buy one?” But now, esports is just one way that Formula 1 is accelerating interest for a new generation of fans. The difficulty or one of the challenges with Formula 1 is that it’s not necessarily the most accessible sport. You couldn’t just jump into an F1 car. But the beauty about esports is that actually it bridges that gap, it gives an opportunity to kids who love racing, to experience racing in a way that is accessible and also in a way that’s very transferable.

More than 70,000 race-loving gamers entered the qualifying process for this season, creating more than three million views on social media during its first live event. So Formula One may not have been the first sport to enter the e-gaming arena, but events like this show that it’s certainly back on the pace. Hi guys, Adam here.