The F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix campaign was a globally distributed virtual racing series to replace the cancelled/postponed Grands Prix due to COVID19. It featured current and former Formula 1 drivers and a variety of celebrity guests, designed to bring entertainment and light relief to fans at a time when most sports around the world went dark. In total, 11 current F1 drivers took part in the Virtual GP series, more than half of the current Formula 1 grid, providing unprecedented access to their personalities, friendships and rivalries away from the real-world racetrack. The campaign has been a resounding success, charting record-breaking numbers.
Showcasing the accessibility of F1 Esports and the ability to be agile in such unprecedented circumstances, all participants competed remotely, racing online on the ‘virtual’ version of each circuit on the official F1 2019 PC video game, developed by Codemasters. The series ran from March to June 2020 over eight virtual Grands Prix broadcast live from the Gfinity arena in London on weekends originally scheduled to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix. As well as providing content for race fans, the series delivered value to race promoters, broadcast partners and sponsors at a time when real-world racing was not possible. Each event was live streamed on F1’s digital channels (Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Huya and Weibo) as well as broadcast globally with blue-chip broadcasters in over 130 territories.
The Virtual Grand Prix campaign proved to be by far the most successful esports content F1 has ever produced, drawing over three times the audience of the F1 Esports Series in 2019 with 30m live views (inclusive of both digital and TV viewership). Content relating to the Virtual GP series also generated 695m impressions 85m total video views on F1 social channels across the events.
LEADERSWEEK.DIRECT/ / 5-8 October 2020
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