The Tale of Formula 1 Racing and Esports

By: Zachary Fingerle

Formula 1(F1) is a term that I believe most of the world has heard at some point in time whether in passing or not. As a general sense of knowledge, it is a form of racing with cars that go incredibly fast and look nothing like the automobiles we drive daily. How could this sport possibly be revolutionizing the connection between real-life sports and simulation games?

The 2K league has been forever changed once actual NBA teams started taking ownership in their digital brand with the 2K league. If my memory serves me right, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors were among the first teams to be active within the esports space. The Charlotte Hornets have had some press recently regarding NFT drops. Throughout the evolution of the F1 games that started in 2009, they have grown from portable gaming consoles to these incredibly complex simulation racing rigs and the various companies that are paying and sponsoring racers in the world F1 series such as Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, McLaren are now being very active in the esports space because they know the future of gaming is bright and what better way to draw more fans to the real F1 than through digital F1, especially as COVID shutdown all in person F1 races leading to the boom of the simulation racing.

(Image via CXC Simulations)

But there is a severe difference between NBA players and the Esports competitors in the 2K league. The physical limitations of each athlete are on such different levels that they simply cannot compete.  In the space of F1, that is not necessarily true. While of course there are still limitations such as going around a corner at 180 mph in a simulation rig is not equivalent to the real experience due to several factors such as g-forces. Real racing teams are even keeping their eyes on the digital scene for new racing talent and personnel to fill out their rosters. On February 11th, 2020,  Cem Bolukbasi tweeted that he would be racing the entire season of Gt4 European as a representative of bomotorsport.

While we will never see Call of Duty esports professionals entering the military because they are so skilled, it doesn’t mean that there cannot be innovations in the world of esports. The thing I love so much about gaming and the world we live in today is that you can never guess what the next evolution of something is/will be in the future as the opportunities are quite endless. With F1 changing the scene, what other esports or real-life sports will delve into the digital space to learn more about their competitors or anything of the sort?


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