FORMULA ONE fans are getting used to life without any live action with NINE races now called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Australian, Bahrain, Chinese, Vietnam, Holland, Spain, Monaco, Azerbaijan and Canada Grand Prix cancelled – with the French set to follow suit – petrolheads have been starved of their fix.
To try and fill the void F1 have arranged a Virtual Grand Prix Series where actual drivers and those in the Esports world face off – with the Bahrain International Circuit hosting the first and Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia for the second.
When is the F1 Chinese Virtual Grand Prix?
The third installment in the Virtual Grand Prix series will take place on Sunday April 19.
Coverage starts from 6pm UK time – a change from the usual 8pm start time in previous weeks.
The drivers will be racing around the Shanghai International Circuit in China on the day when the real race would have happened.
The actual players will either be coming to you from Gfinity’s Esports Arena in London or remotely logging on.
What TV channel is it on and can I live stream it for FREE?
The race will be streamed live for FREE on a range of platforms including through F1’s official YouTube channel.
What are the rules?
The race will take place using the F1 2019 game, with grid positions to be decided by the fastest lap times in qualifying.
Following that will be the race where it will be held at 50% of a normal Grand Prix.
That means there will be 28 laps, instead of the normal 56.
Real life drivers will be used on the game, so Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari will lock horns once again.
And before teams get excited, the race will not count towards the actual World Championship standings.
Who will be racing?
Charles Leclerc is back after winning the last race on his debut at the online format, as he takes on fellow F1 stars George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi on Sunday’s starting grid.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois represents football in the mix driving for Red Bull, with more stars to be announced.