Virtual racing is helping Formula 1, Formula E, IndyCar and more keep the wheels turning

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Due to the coronavirus halting nearly every real world sports event, most professional racing has unfortunately been placed on hold. Yet that hasn’t stopped the industry, as more and more race leagues begin to channel the incredibly robust virtual scene to simulate racing for both drivers and fans alike.

Maybe one of the most remarkable things about the pandemic we’re living through is how various industries have adapted to the situation. While many companies and digital retailers have resorted to handing out free products and deals to keep people entertained while quarantined, sports leagues and industries haven’t been as fortunate. While basically all sport around the world has been cancelled to spread the halt of the virus, professional racing has turned to other means to keep the lights on.

This is virtual reality

As with most ball-based sports, racing has a rather dedicated and incredibly detailed virtual simulation community that has slowly built up around it. But we’re not talking about video games like FIFA here, we’re talking about highly detailed simulations built to test cars and help professional racers practice. These are the systems allowing races online to keep fans of the sport invested. Formula 1, Nascar and IndyCar have all resorted to staging races using simulations, and Formula E is the latest to join in on the trend.

Most of these online races are being conducted using rFactor 2 and iRacing and are streamed across a whole host of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch. They’ve reportedly been met with a great level of enthusiasm from racing fans, as they can at least continue to watch their favourite sport every weekend.

It’s worth noting how strange it is that Formula E has taken so long to jump onto the simulated driving trend. Considering they were one of the first leagues to cancel their real world races in response to COVID-19, and several of their racers and announcers have participated in rival leagues online streams, two months down the seems pretty late. Still, we doubt there’ll be many complaining now that they’ve joined the party.

We’ve got some links on where you find simulated races — in case you feel like catching up on the racing scene while you have nothing better to do:

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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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