F1 2019 screenshot

When and where to watch this weekend’s big ESports races

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The 2020 motor sport season has ground to a halt barely before it had a chance to begin.

However two of the world’s top motorsport series – Formula 1 and NASCAR – have wasted little time in taking the racing online. Their new official ESports series will begin on Sunday, taking the place of their cancelled real-world races on those dates.

On top of that, two other major races will return: Veloce ESports’ “Not the… GP” series and Torque ESports’ “All-Star battle” competition.

While three of the events will ‘replace’ their counterparts in the real world, the All-Star ESports Battle will move on to the Indianapolis road course.

Meanwhile Formula 1’s new official series was announced only yesterday and teams are still confirming details of their driver line-ups.

Here’s when the major races will take place this weekend, and what we know of each of them so far.

EventDateTimeGameFormatTrackNotable entrantsWhere to watch
All-Star ESports BattleSaturday 21st17:00 GMT / 13:00 EDTrFactor 2Qualifying, Heats and FinalIndianapolis Motor Speedway road courseMax Verstappen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nico Hulkenberg, Nelson Piquet Jnr, Tony Kanaan, Ed Jones, Daniel Juncadella, Neel Jani, Maximilian Guenther, Antonio Felix da Costa, Juan Manuel CorreaYouTube
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational SeriesSunday 22nd17:30 GMT / 13:30 EDTiRacingTBCHomestead-Miami SpeedwayDale Earnhardt Jnr, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Bubba WallaceFox Sports 1 (USA)
Not The Bahrain Grand PrixSunday 22nd18:00 GMT / 14:00 EDTF1 2019Qualifying, raceBahrain International CircuitLando Norris, Stoffel Vandoorne, Nicholas LatifiYouTube, Twitch
F1 Esports Virtual Bahrain Grand PrixSunday 22nd20:00 GMT / 18:00 EDTF1 2019Qualifying, raceBahrain International CircuitNicholas Latifi, Robert Shwartzman (full entry list being confirmed – see here for latest)YouTube, Twitch, Facebook

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Last weekend’s top races

Over to you

Will you be watching any of the virtual action this weekend? Or is simracing too poor a substitute for the real thing? Let us know in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 18 comments on “When and where to watch this weekend’s big ESports races”

    1. I hope I’ll be able to tune in to some of these, maybe in the background while sowing face masks for people in our surroundings.

    2. I watched The Race All-Star event last weekend, my first experience of eSports. It was great to hear Jack Nicholls and Jolyon Palmer commentate, so it felt a little bit like getting my F1 fix on the radio, but it just isn’t the same. It is hard to care about virtual cars going round a virtual circuit with nothing at stake. I certainly wouldn’t have watched it for more than 5 minutes without those two great professional commentators, so hopefully they’ll be doing more in future.

      1. Wasn’t there a 10000 (dollar? Euro? Pound? not sure) win-bonus for the final race @danielh, or was that for the Veloce event? Not quite nothing, for a lot of the competitors.

        I have to say, it is a bit sad that most of these events are scheduled at similar times – makes it hard to watch all of them live (I suppose like a real world race, highlight-replays will be posted, but still), glad at least the F1 Esports Bahrain event is later.

    3. There’s also IMSA’s SuperSaturday Sebring iRacing event (1830 GMT), and of course the Dinner With Racers PooperSebring featuring 12 hours of far too many classes and Ryan Lewis (1500 GMT). Both will have lots of sportycar drivers.

    4. The All Star Race lineup is putting the F1 one to shame.
      There’s even Hulk aiming for his first podium!

    5. Sergey Martyn
      21st March 2020, 14:24

      Hope that this ePrix will be a huge success among the huge audience of internet bots.
      Whomever got this idea is a dim bulb victim of a brave new ‘technology’ brainwash.

      1. Thanks, and I hope you will have an enjoyable day too.

    6. I was initially interested but lost all my motivation to tune in when I read the official F1 game races would be using limited damage and allowing traction control and ABS. Maybe this was done to prevent ‘star’ drivers suffering an embarrassing early retirement. Maybe it was because the safety car is so poorly implemented in f1 2019 that they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of what may be the largest esports audience yet. Whatever the reason I’m not at all interested in the prospect of watching 20 or so virtual cars going round and round the circuit for half race length with practically zero chance of anything interesting happening. By ‘interesting’ I mean a driver mistake having consequences.

    7. Never watched an esports race, kinda looking forward to it

    8. F1 2019? Seriously? Might as well have it in Mario Karts. It actually might be more challenging.

    9. Is there anyway you can add these to your official F1 calendar? Or have a separate eSports calendar? So each event can have a link to the event or streaming sources. Would love to watch these, it’s just a little hard to plan for in my timezone and not all that easy to find the home of the stream across YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc.

      1. That’s a great suggestion. At this stage I’m still trying to judge how much interest there is in ESports coverage and how much time I can afford to dedicate to it. But I’ll keep it in mind.

    10. John Toad (@)
      21st March 2020, 18:24

      I’ve been following F1 since 1958. I’ve seen drivers come and go, I’ve seen teams come and go but I never thought I’d live to see the cars come and go.

    11. Does anyone happen to know the YouTube channel name (or user name) on which these are appearing? ..I cannot see where it is mentioned in the article; just saying “Youtube” or “Twitch” isn’t that helpful if you are trying to find the ‘race’ .. the only hint seems to be ‘Torque ESports’’ (which doesn’t exist on youtube) and ‘Veloce ESports’’ – to which there is a username on Youtube, but has rather a low number of subscribers so I’m not sure if that is it…

      1. “The broadcast, which will be available on the official Formula 1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as F1.com”

        Lando has his own twitch channel and both races will be on there.

      2. @potsie159 yesterday I had the same issue, I streamed a gamers channel before someone in the chat box said it could be viewed on a channel called “the race”.
        I don’t know for tonight though.

      3. @potsie159 in fact, the second to last event “not the Bahrain gp” will be on YouTube channel ‘veloce esport’

    12. The way it goes is, the sports with the most participants and fans grows into the largest most profitable and popular sports. Racing is expensive. The percentage of the population who can afford to race, next to the population who want to race is probably a fraction of 1%. Sustaining a race machine through a season is also prohibitively expensive for the majority of the population. The majority of people who want to race cannot afford it.

      Ball and stick sports dominate because anybody can play. The equipment is cheap and does not need to be rebuilt or replaced after each event. Sim racing has that same appeal. If you buy a decent driving rig (or build your own as I did), then it is a one time purchase that can last several seasons, much less having to rebuild it every race.

      So sim racing has the potential to eclipse all real motorsports with profit potential. Because, like ball and stick sports, anybody can race, the equipment is cheap and does not have to be rebuilt nor replaced after each event. No traveling (for the majority), no trailers, no trucks, no pit crew, etc. The list goes on.

      Who are sponsors going to finance when they can profit from millions upon millions of sim racers next to a few thousand real racers? Sim racing is going to turn millions of non-race fans into race fans cause now they can race. The writing is on the wall.

      F1 SHOULD be worried about FE. Cause electric motors are going to surpass combustion motors within a couple decades. But FE should be worried also. Because sim racing is going to surpass even FE racing as far as profit potential due to many many many more racers involved. And that is where the sponsors will follow (as usual).

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