Formula E launches Esports series for drivers, sim racers

Formula E has launched two Esports series, one exclusively for official championship drivers and a second for sim racers who will compete to win a real-life FE test.

Formula E launches Esports series for drivers, sim racers

Created in association with Motorsport Games, the Race at Home Challenge will begin this Saturday with a pre-season, non-championship race and will then continue each week for an eight-round series.

Following FE’s recently announced partnership with UNICEF, all funds raised will be donated to the global coronavirus appeal fund.

The competitions were announced in an online press conference, hosted by FE commentator Jack Nicholls and featuring series CEO Jamie Reigle and drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Felipe Massa.

When asked why FE had been slow to launch an Esports platform compared to other major series such as Formula 1, IndyCar or MotoGP, Reigle said: “If you can’t be first then you better make sure you’re different.

“[The Race at Home Challenge] is a pretty unique proposition.”

Using the rFactor 2 platform, the format of the championship will follow a ‘Battle Royale’-style knockout, whereby the driver in last place at the end of each lap will be eliminated.

This will continue until there are only 10 competitors remaining, after which they will compete in a one-lap sprint to the finish.

The eight championship races will retain the normal FE points system, with extra points for pole position and fastest lap. Double points will also be awarded for the final race.

For the first race, 14 FE drivers have so far been confirmed – including both Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, BMW’s Alexander Sims and Maximilian Guenther, current points leader da Costa, Mercedes FE driver Stoffel Vandoorne, Massa and Jaguar driver Mitch Evans.

Many of the drivers have already featured in other Esports competitions during the motorsport hiatus, but Reigle added that the FE competition would avoid clashes with other high-profile contests.

He said: “We’re trying to make sure we have a slot dedicated to the Formula E Race at Home Challenge.

“We’re trying to have our own window and be respectful of other series. There’s always room to find in the calendar, but the goal is to get back to real racing.”

The races are set to be broadcast via the FE website plus YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Twitter.

Each week, there will also be a concurrent event for sim racers that will take place on a different virtual circuit.

In addition to guest drivers, there will be a qualifying window from Monday to Thursday each week where the top 18 will progress through to the race.

A real-life FE car test planned for later this year will be awarded to the sim racing champion.

FE has hosted high-profile Esports events before, most notably the 2017 Vegas eRace, which had a record-breaking total prize fund of $1 million.

This was marred, however, by multiple technical problems – including on-the-road winner Olli Pahkala being demoted to third after a 12-second penalty for a glitch which meant he had more available Fanboost.

For more on the exciting world of Esports, check out Motorsport Games.

shares
comments
F1 2020 game gets release date, adds Schumacher special pack

Previous article

F1 2020 game gets release date, adds Schumacher special pack

Next article

Kyle Busch to make virtual IndyCar debut this weekend

Kyle Busch to make virtual IndyCar debut this weekend
Load comments
How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize Prime

How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize

An unlikely partnership between World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateers Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's highly-successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How seriously should Esports be taken? Prime

How seriously should Esports be taken?

As interest in Esports has increased during the coronavirus lockdown, the lines have become blurred between what's real and what's virtual - especially when some high-profile participants seem to be playing for laughs, says Luke Smith

Esports
Jun 10, 2020
Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice Prime

Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

Daniel Abt's suspension by the Audi Formula E team - and possible loss of his drive - for fielding a ringer in an Esports event could be considered an overreaction. But in a wider context, his employers had little other alternative

Esports
May 26, 2020
How Leclerc is embracing his new mission Prime

How Leclerc is embracing his new mission

The emergence of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc as a Twitch streaming star has been one of the pleasant surprises of lockdown so far. He says it is giving fans a greater insight into his nature, but that's not his primary purpose

Formula 1
Apr 23, 2020
Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Prime

Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Prime

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

The lack of real track action so far this year hasn't stop drivers from keeping their racing brains 'fresh', as former F1 star Stoffel Vandoorne suggested last weekend.

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now Prime

Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now

MotoGP's virtual #StayAtHomeGP was a sad reminder of some of the storylines that could be unfolding had the real-life season not been delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic. While we can bemoan Esports as being a poor relation of the real thing, it has an even more important function to perform

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2020
F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Prime

F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020