The Formula 1 Esports Series is back for its second season – and this year, the official teams of F1 will be setting up their own dedicated esports teams to compete in the event.
The 2018 season of the Formula 1 Esports Series will be divided into two segments. The first will see online racers given the chance to earn a place on the official esports driver line-up for one of the official Formula 1 teams, whilst the second will see drivers race on behalf of their official teams as they compete to become the champions of the 2018 F1 Esports Series.
The participating teams in the F1 Esports Series includes Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 Team, Williams, Renault Sport F1 Team, Haas F1 Team, McLaren, Toro Rosso, and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
The F1 Esports Series will be played on F1 2017, the official game of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the latest entry into the long-running annual racing franchise from Codemasters, and will be open to those on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
“Codemasters is extremely proud to be involved in the F1 Esports Series. The quality of the racing we saw during last year's series was spectacular and the integration of the teams for the coming season is going to take the competition and its promotion to the next level,” said Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters. “We strongly believe that Esports is a platform that allows us to engage with a wide, diverse audience in addition to our traditional gaming community.”
Racers will battle it out in an effort to win a place in the first-ever Pro Draft in July. This is where the official Formula 1 teams involved in the F1 Esports Series will choose their drivers for the second part of the season. Each participating team will be required to select at least one of its drivers from the Pro Draft.
The first of four qualifying events will be live in F1 2017 from April 13th. The first event sees competitors take control of Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes in Shanghai as he hunts down a podium finish from sixth place with five laps remaining on a wet, but drying, track. The ten players to complete this challenge the fastest on each platform will then race in a broadcasted event final with the top three on each platform qualifying for the Pro Draft.
At the end of the four qualifying events and the Wildcard stage, the Pro Draft will be held where the top 40 drivers in the world will be eligible for selection by the official Formula 1 teams for their respective esports teams.
The esports drivers chosen from the Pro Draft will then represent their teams in the second half of the season as they race and compete in three live events that will determine 2018 F1 Esports Series Teams' and Drivers' World Champions – with a prize fund of at least $200,000.
The return of the Formula 1 Esports Series follows a successful inaugural competition last year, which saw British racer Brendon Leigh crowned as the first ever champion in Abu Dhabi.
“It has always been our goal to get the teams involved as soon as possible and we are delighted that they have recognised the potential of the F1 Esports Series at such an early stage,” said Julian Tan, Head of Digital Growth and F1 Esports at Formula 1. “Last year's series was a great success and demonstrated that there is a clear audience and interest in this innovative, exciting form of racing. We will continue to invest in the Esports Series as we feel it is a great way for us to interact and engage with a new audience.”
“We are excited to be retained by Formula 1 as the events partner,” added Neville Upton, Gfinity’s CEO. “F1 and Codemasters maximised the true potential last year by fully integrating the F1 Esports Series into the final Grand Prix weekend in Abu Dhabi through both their linear TV partners and streaming platforms and we look forward to building on that success in season two with more events and broadcast opportunities.”
For this year’s season, Formula 1 has renewed its partnership with F1 game developer Codemasters and esports organizer Gfinity. DHL has also been named as an official sponsor of the F1 Esports Series as part of an extension of their partnership with Formula 1.
Expect more details on the F1 Esports Series as the season progresses. We’ll be covering it all here on FullThrottle, so be sure to check back for all the latest. You can find the official rulebook for the 2018 season of the F1 Esports Series over on the official
Formula 1 website.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.